I — Malachite0:00
II — Agate0:00
III — Bismuth0:00
[performed live by the Ludovico Ensemble]
instrumentation : flutes + clarinets + percussion + piano + violin + viola + cello
duration : 32’30”
commissioned by the Ludovico Ensemble
premiere : 03.22.11 Ludovico Ensemble; Jeffrey Means, conductor | Boston
The three stones which provide the titles of the movements of this piece have special meanings to humans. Malachite was once prized for its supposed medicinal purposes, and was
aggressively mined. Agate was once considered a precious stone for its banded patterns, but because of its frequent natural imperfections it is no longer widely sought after. Bismuth is a synthetic metal manufactured primarily for industrial uses, and its brilliant colors are purely incidental and largely overlooked.
Each of these stones has held a position of great importance to humans at some point. My piece is constructed out of canons which represent the relationship of pursuit that we feel we share with the stones. The canons do not follow conventional rules- the first is in rhythmic unison, while the pitches are ordered canonically. The remaining ones treat rhythm flexibly, but each employs a single melody.