for chamber orchestra
Premiere: Alarm Will Sound, July 2017 (8 minutes)
CRVD (“carved”) is an expansion and re-composition of a short piece I wrote for five players during the spring of 2016. That work, SKRWL, scored for bass clarinet, trombone, piano, viola, and cello, took a singular gesture, a perforated sound, and exploded it – transforming its size across time and instrumentation. The singular gesture, for me, evoked the sonic equivalent of “mark-making,” an action that precedes visual art in the same way a single sound-action precedes its being coopted into compositional systems and made into music. While SKRWL seemed to be an study in linearity and the accumulation of density along a duration, in CRVD, I wish to deepen the depths of this densification. The lines and musical figures in SKRWL trace the surface of silence. With this new work, however, my hope is that the sounds of the ensemble solidify, gorging through the silence, and giving the music a grotesque amount of energy, in the end, intimating a desperate sense of longing.
“…So you take the knife to the wall / instead. You carve & carve / until a coin of light appears/ & you get to look in, at last, / on happiness. The eye / staring back from the other side — / waiting.”
Ocean Vuong, Torso of Air