Amplified Flutes and Cellos
Vestige (noun): A small trace of something that is disappearing.
Vestiges is an ode to the musical ideologies of the 20th Century. It is composed for a large group of ampli- fied flutes and cellos. It is intended as a large ensemble piece, but may be performed with as little as one instrument per part. Each section of the ensemble should be amplified, but may be performed acoustically with as many instruments as possible.
Music is continually changing and evolving based on our interpretations of the past and our outlook on the future. Vestiges is an exploration of techniques and sonic styles introduced in the mid 20th Century, in particular by the unique works of Krystof Penderecki. It is not a farewell to these ideas, but rather recognition of some of the contributions of the last century as a launching point for the younger generation of creative minds. The title reminds me that everything we produce as composers eventually becomes forgotten or absorbed into the collective consciousness of those who are working in the present. Thus, it is a recognition of the natural order of time – the composers best and worst enemy.
Vestiges is primarily textural in aesthetic as opposed to the more contrapuntal music that tends to dominate our musical experiences. It opens with a long sustained passage of flute and cello harmonics and descends into a journey of glissandi, clicks, pops and scratching sounds. It eventually leaves the listener in a loud rumble of cello and flute tremolo, which stops abruptly accentuating the ongoing backdrop of space-time.
Premiered November 10, 2010 at the Festival of New American Music
10+ flutes, 10+ cellos (2 flutes + 2 cellos minimum), amplified optional
Featured Art: Drought in the Wimmera, ca. 1944