for viola and piano(2019)
|Commission||Commissioned by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti with the generous support of Elizabeth & Justus Schlichting|
August 10, 2019; Madison New Music Festival, Madison, Wisconsin; Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, viola – Karl Larson, piano
November 28, 2019; The 20/19 Project: Made in Transition, Part 2 at the Turner Contemporary, Margate, England; Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, viola – Zeynep Özsuca, piano
An early draft of Lost Anthems had the subtitle, “Songs intended to bring people together but after there are no people left to bring together.” I eventually dropped the subtitle because the concept I was trying to express seems better suited for a program note, or a conversation. Lost Anthems is composed of 15 contrasting sections. Each section is a melodic, song-like texture in search of itself. Song fragments congeal to form a series of anthems that peel away, return, or sometimes disintegrate and disappear forever. Like a phantom melody threading through the various sections, the anthems navigate different treatments of time and transverse a series of fields, which I call time-feel bubbles. Sometimes the time-feel bubbles are groovy and other times floating. There are no transitions between the rhythmic languages of each section so the performers must jump between the different world-feels; the contrast between the worlds is just as important as the worlds themselves. The various differences are further brought into focus using timbres achieved by the prepared piano in combination with viola extended techniques. I liked the idea of the work being about anthems, rather than just songs, because the anthem is an inherently social song. Ultimately, Lost Anthems imagines all the world’s people singing songs that haunt the earth well into a humanless future.
– Scott Wollschleger