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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Light: Frozen and Refracted, with Ensemble Intercontemporain

IRCAM and Ensemble Intercontemporain have allowed the Acanthes Academy participants to publicize three minutes of our pieces from ManiFeste 2012, so I've just made a reduction of Light: Frozen and Refracted (Lumière: Glacée et Réfractée).  This is simply the opening of the piece, which I found to be my favorite material to present alone. 

Light: Frozen and Refracted is in a family of pieces related to my large Pierrot Lunaire companion piece, Light from Outside, which a setting of text based on Rainer Maria Rilke's Die Erblindende.  The processes of freezing and refracting are prevalent in this opening material; melodic contours from the original work are slowed and smeared into shimmering, icy wisps.

The family has grown to include two other pieces, Chance Brought You Through, an arrangement of the middle "movement" of Light from Outside for piccolo, soprano and electronics (premiered by Lucy Shelton and Matteo Cesari), and most recently an arrangement of the entire work for soprano, percussion and electronics.

The newest addition to the family was cooking for quite some time.  When I was asked to write my Pierrot companion piece, I knew I would be working with the amazing soprano Tiffany DuMouchelle.  Tiffany and her partner, percussionist Steve Solook perform frequently as the duo Aurora Borealis, so I designed much of the figuration in the piece around the possibility of being played on mallet percussion.  Luckily, Tiffany and Steve asked me to complete the transformation of Light from Outside into a duo, as part of their repertoire for the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition.  I'm excited to hear this new transformation in the upcoming year.

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