obscured-distorted-redacted

for string quartet
Premiere: JACK Quartet, June 2012 (8 minutes)

Score Sample

As is often the case with my music, I begin with a single gesture or a group of gestures and through varied processes of manipulation, the gesture becomes mutated, almost on its own accord. The music takes shape, manifests an identity, as if it was a rock, acted upon and ultimately eroded as the piece progresses. The title of this piece refers to compositional processes related to the initial glissando gesture–one that is inherently “anti-pitch” but emphasizes the physicality of instrumental playing. The piece draws upon the momentum and the constancy, which are characteristic of the glissando in order to produce a sense of grueling relentlessness. Instead of creating a musical foil to this gesture, I left it, wanting only to accompany it, to sculpt it as it passed, to create a landscape for it to exist – obscuring it at times in order to reserve its expressive potential, distorting it so as to confuse or problematize its identity, and redacting it, slowly erasing its existence.

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