Concertino begins with a gentle melody unfolding over simple sustained triads. To me it evokes some sort of celestial object or a glimmering crystal, seen at a distance against a backdrop of emptiness and silence, a luminous object in the void. The bulk of the piece which follows is made up of the interplay of three different types of music – a sharp, clangorous bell/birdcall in the mallets; luminous chorale chords in the winds and strings; and an aggressive grooving bass line in the piano and electric bass. These different elements expand and contract, vying with each other, bouncing off each other, interrupting each other, morphing into one another…. I imagine that we have zoomed in on our beautiful object and can see all the churning gases and clouds and storms beneath the surface (if it is a planet) or all the electrons and subatomic particles zipping around (if it is a crystal). I imagine things in orbits, exerting gravitational pull on each other, whizzing around, something about particles and planets and light and energy and physics. In the end, we zoom out and see the whole object again in the void, calm and serene, but in a different light, now that we know of the boundless energy surging beneath its surface.
flute (doubling on alto and picc), oboe, A clarinet, bassoon, Bb trumpet, horn, trombone, 2 violin, viola, cello, contra-bass, electric bass, piano, 3 percussion
San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble on March 21, 2003