ALIAS Chamber Ensemble performing Autumn Quince

Composed for the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble Winter 2019 Concert February 24th,
Ingram Hall at Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

English Horn: Jared Hauser
Clarinet: Lee Levine
Horn in F: Jennifer Kummer

Voice: Patrick Dailey

Violin I: Jun Iwasaki
Violin II: Louise Morrison
Viola: Marie Winget
Cello: Kaitlyn Raitz

“And which one is real? / The music in the composer’s ear / or the lapsed piece the orchestra plays? / The world is a blurred version of itself— / marred, lovely, and flawed. / It is enough.” In my setting of these words from Jane Hirshfield’s Autumn Quince, I tried to portray something of the complexity of daily life, with every note bearing, or at least aware of, the weight of Hirshfield’s opening line: “How sad they are, the promises we never return to.” There are a lot of half-step resolutions, small moments of tension resolved, but not many big cadences or grand resolutions to be found. There’s even some polymodal chromaticism showing up in the interlude in an attempt to portray some of that tension of life lived vs. life hoped for, and realizing there is no other life. In the pensive stillness that fills the room after the words “it is enough” are sung—the singer is instructed in the delivery of this line to convey being thankful/hopeful, not celebratory—followed by a slightly modified restatement of the introduction from the French horn, English horn, and clarinet, I hoped to capture some of that yearning restfulness.

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