rest and restless

orchestra version - 2016, ca 12 minutes

(click here for the double bass version)

 

Instrumentation - chamber orchestra

2,2(2dEH),2(2dBCl),2. 221. 2perc. Hp, Pno, Strings

click here for a recording of the bass version

program note

To be honest, it proves difficult for me to write an introductory note for REST AND RESTLESS as I feel that the piece manages to adequately speak for itself, or maybe I am simply unable to adequately speak for it. I suppose if I were to boil the piece down to some sort of artistic label I would use the term "emotional landscape." The music slowly alternates, pendulum-like, from low angst-broodings to brighter hopes, back and forth, but without letting either mood "win" over the other. Perhaps it is the feeling of lying in bed at night, yet unable to sleep. Or it is the quasi-dream before sleep, when feelings turn into dreams and back again. For whatever reason, after writing the piece I came across this quote, written by a concert goer and amateur musician, that seems to at least glance what the piece expresses in my ears:

 

“the will is the string, its frustration or impediment the vibration of the string, knowledge the sounding-board, and pain the sound.” - Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

 

Pain, yes, but also a warm healing - being pressed to go forward.

 

The piece was originally composed as a solo for double bass for a concert I was giving at university. Without any significant pre-compositional preparations, I set about writing the piece with only a few simple goals in mind: that the piece would be overtly expressive yet interesting to listen to, that it would be manageable for a player to learn, and that it would demand a diverse range of a playing techniques from the single instrument. My decision to orchestrate the piece was based on the impression that the almost constant double stops and high range harmonics on the bass created a texture interesting enough to hear with an orchestral pallatte. I have preserved the feeling of low, open strings throughout the piece, while adding a greater variety of timbres and layers to the melodic passages. The climax of the work also delivers quite more of a punch.

click below to see score