thoughts on ‘a gray, bent interior horizon’

the following text was prepared for the first performance of ‘a gray, bent interior horizon’ for guitar –

the piece was premiered at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto on Dec 15 2016 – the guitarist was Adam Batstone:

“Matthew Fava asked me to say a few words about the process of writing the piece –

much of my recent work has to do in some way with the prolongation of an idea, how a musical idea is extended over time, in contrast to a process of varying or developing an idea over the course of a piece –

During the workshop, I looked for ways of extending an idea by repetition, sometimes exact, sometimes nonliteral, and also by re-ordering segments of the idea, to keep the flow of the piece somewhat unpredictable –

I put this idea in to practice with the help of a suggestion from Linda C. Smith, The mentor composer for this workshop, who recommended that I write out the score by hand, again and again, to see what I remembered of my own piece, and to see what (and at which points) my memory came up with something slightly different than what I had written down the first time –

in this piece, extending an idea sometimes means a shift to similar material; this material might be a component of the original idea, or a small part of its form, and then the piece spends some time with that instead”


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