4 and a half minutes
Commissioned by Jennifer Koh and premiered May 24, 2016 at National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY.
“Shall I project a world?” wonders protagonist Oedipa Maas in Thomas Pynchon’s novella, The Crying of Lot 49. In the story, Oedipa finds herself on a long and quixotic journey in search of the details needed to settle her recently deceased husband’s estate. However, every time she discovers some clue, it reveals a more complex and kaleidoscopic situation than she imagined. At some point, she wonders if all the strange things that have happened to her were simply a product of her imagination.
I was struck by this notion, the idea of someone digging deeper and deeper, only to find more depth, and I tried to channel in my work for Jennifer Koh. The tessitura and harmonies of the work start simply and expand very gradually, revealing a path that at first traces slowly downward, and then, when it cannot go any further downward, soars upward, exploring the enormous range of the violin.