RECITATIVE for solo viola

 (2011) (7')

completed December 2011; premiered by Nicole Parise at Senior Composition recital, 16 March 2013

Program Notes:

Recitative is a form of musical delivery in which the performer is given liberty to use the pacing and flow of regular speech (often with dramatic ornamentation) and is most often seen in portions of opera scenes to progress the plot. In the case of this piece, the violist is given no indication of meter or tempo and is left to interpret these elements as he or she sees fit.

Some of the melodic content of this piece was taken from ancient magickal texts that I discovered in my research of famous Medieval composer-murderer Carlo Gesualdo. The accompanying text warned that the melodies might cause strange and unsettling events, but I’ve dismissed these claims. I’m confident that performances will go on without interruption or unusual occurrences.

[sidenote: this piece includes “secret” additional performers, including two antiphonal woodblock players, one “cougher/screamer” in the audience, and one “stage-hand” and computer operator; Max/MSP or Max Runtime and loudspeakers are required]