Rest and Restless cover 2-2.jpg

Instrumentation - Full Orchestra

2,2(2dEH),2(2dBCl),2. 4331. 2perc. Hp, Pno, Strings

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. Whenever I try to write this program note my mind keeps coming back to an image of looking out my bedroom window in Los Angeles at the evening clouds, my imagination being ignited by the simultaneously serene and troubled shapes of grey. Perhaps the music reflects that fantasy in some emotional fashion.

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 quickly, and that it would demand a diverse range of 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 palate. I have tried to preserve the feeling of low, open strings throughout the piece, while adding a greater variety of timbres and layers to the melodic passages.


rest and restless

orchestra version - 2016, ca 12 minutes

(click here for the double bass version)

 Cover art by Angela Bermúdez


performed by the USC Thornton Symphony - conducted by Donald Crockett.