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Shoji (2006)
Duration: 8’

SMMP No. 116

This work explores the idea of multiplicity within a solo context by categorizing violin performance approaches into quite limited frames. The (perhaps arbitrary) distinctions between frames shift focus (allowing new allegiances) throughout the piece.

The piece begins by presenting a succession of paired behaviors that interrupt each other. Some pairs are distinguished more subtly than others, which influences the degree to which one recognizes interruptions. After the scope of materials is introduced, then, the polyphonic implications are entertained. The degree to which multiple strands of simultaneous behavior can be projected by the violin soloist marks the speculative territory of the piece.

The nature of change, of instability, of fragility is a consistent component of my work, but the meaning here is slightly different. In this piece I hope to avoid the sensation of frantic excess; rather, the intent is to imply a Buddhist ideal of impermanence. Beauty is fleeting, leaves fall and decay – the contrast between sustain and decay seems crucial, here.

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