Road to Memphis
for viola and piano or harpsichord(2009)
|Commission||Commissioned by the Snyder Duo|
|Premiere||May 10, 2009; Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY; Snyder Duo|
Road to Memphis for viola and harpsichord is commissioned by the Snyder Duo, and was written during January-March 2009. It's duration is 9 minutes.
Maggie and Minnie Snyder grew up in Memphis, where I am based part of the year. Maggie was a student of mine at the University of Memphis. Although the Synder sisters no longer live in Memphis they continue to have a special spiritual tie to it. Memphis is a strange and unique place. It is one of the most influential cities of the 20th century in the development of popular music and culture. Very talented musicians still come out of Memphis.
Although I have been associated with Memphis all these years I never really consciously used musical material from Memphis. It is like being from Egypt but never visiting the Pyramids as you take them for granted. When Maggie approached me with the idea of creating a work for them containing elements of Memphis music I was really excited. I travel a lot between Memphis and Istanbul—yes, many people find it a fascinating combination—and thought that somehow combining these two parts of my world in a more concrete way would be an exciting, fresh, interesting challenge. Although I use my Turkish side with other ingredients all the time, this is the first time I am doing it with Memphis influenced sounds.