Folds (2014) 

About

I. Patiently
II. Mechanically
III. Swirling
IV. Remote
V. Steady

Folds is a reflection of my interest in both brevity and self-imposed limitations. In each miniature movement, I imagine taking a simple musical idea, or a single fold, and exploring different ways to create and shape a piece.

The first movement, Patiently, explores one harmony that is spread out slowly in time. From this slow, quasi-spinning harmony, short melodies briefly arise and die out. I have given the performers very few “notes” to play, and so each part takes on a very important meaning.

The second movement, Mechanically, is about the combination and re-combination of different gestures. The gestures, which emanate from the first few measures, are combined in different ways, but always remain in their own world.

Swirling is a brief and active exploration of color, depicted by the trills and spinning piano part. The motoric rhythm in the piano forms the hub of the piece while circling arpeggios from the lower strings create waves on a sinking harmony. The trills turn into sustained notes, briefly, before turning back into trills, ending the movement with a ringing flourish.

The fourth movement, Remote, is made up of the most restricted material. The piano has been locked into repeating a single note, D, with the occasional “hiccup.” The rest of ensemble sometimes reacts to the repeated notes, and other times seems to ignore it.

The last movement, Steady, again explores a static harmony which is depicted through the ostinati patterns and steady pulse. The dark melody from the violin brings closure to the movement and the entire work.

View the complete score on Issuu.

Instrumentation

Flute, Clarinet in B-flat, Oboe, Bassoon, Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Contrabass

Duration

c. 9 minutes

Performances

December 6, 2014*
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, San Francisco, CA
SFCM New Music Ensemble, conducted by Jacques Desjardins

April 15, 2014
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, San Francisco, CA
SFCM New Music Ensemble, conducted by Jacques Desjardins

*Indicates a world premiere