Strophes & Hijinx (2017/18)
(violin & marimba duo)
I. Strophe: Prelude
III. Strophe: Postlude
commissioned by Duologue
(Suhashini Arulanandam, violin; Nathan Petitpas, percussion)
premiered by Duologue on May 26, 2018
at the Burdock Music Hall in Toronto, Ontario
partially premiered (2 movements) April 10, 2018
Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music
by Wendy Toh, violin
Brant Blackard, marimba
Strophe: Prelude and Strophe: Postlude are mirroring movements, cast in a solemn, yearning, even prayerful tone. In order to capture solemnity in notation (visible only to the performers and those perusing the score), I have chosen long note values (whole notes) as a baseline tactus, invoking an archaic sensibility. Melody and harmonic accompaniment are distributed, as tradition might dictate, to violin and marimba (sempre tremolando), respectively. Despite Strophes' hierarchically homophonic texture and intentionally classical phraseology, their tonal language is decisively hexachordal: a 4-voice chorale in marimba is at odds, pitch-wise, with an often double-stopped violin whose tones rarely overlap.
Hijinx is a spritely, contrapuntal movement that delights in variability with respect to phrase length, synchrony v.s. asynchrony, and shifting voicings of an ever-permutational, predominantly "white-key" diatonic set.
This work was commissioned by Duologue, comprising violinist Suhashini Arulanandam and percussionist Nathan Petitpas, and was premiered in Toronto at the Burdock Music Hall on May 26, 2018.
Perusal Score & Audio/Video (coming soon)