for bassoon and electronics(2017)
|Commissioned through ICE’s First Page Program, with generous support from Connie Steensma and Rick Prins
|June 10th, 2017; Ojai Festival, California; Rebekah Heller – bassoon
A labrys is a double headed battle axe, which was widely used in ancient Minoan culture as a symbol of feminine divinity. This piece was written for bassoonist Rebekah Heller, and builds on the legacy of my works for solo performer with electronics, in particular The Soul Is the Arena, written for Joshua Rubin in 2010, and Luciform, written for Claire Chase in 2011. The opening section features an archaic modal melody that culminates with one of Rebekah’s techniques – a primal scream played on the bassoon’s high G. The detailed exchange that follows is characterized by tersely interlaced gestures between the bassoon and electronics, which periodically converge in bursts of energy. Accompanied by shimmering, bass heavy electronics, Labrys calls on the full range of the bassoon’s register, encompassing hypnotic, lyrical, volatile, and luminous states.
– Mario Diaz de Leon