Ondes et Ombres (2014)

Instrumentation: Violin, clarinet, and piano; Flute, clarinet, and piano; Violin, alto saxophone, and piano


Commissioned by: Argot Trio

Movements: One movement

Program Note: Ondes et Ombres for violin, clarinet, and piano was commissioned by and dedicated to the Argot Trio and funded by a grant provided by the University of Southern Mississippi. Ondes et Ombres was motivated by the very words of the title (that is to say, the title for this composition actually came to me before any music did). I was pondering how the French word for "waves" ("ondes") and the word for "shadows" ("ombres") sound remarkably alike when spoken aloud in that language, unlike their counterparts in English. Therefore, I decided to compose music that was a meditation on the multiple meanings of these two words. The play between motion and stasis was also at the forefront of my imagination while composing. The work opens with a game of pairs within the trio: first, violin and piano; then, violin and clarinet; and lastly, clarinet and piano. Once the characters have been introduced, various musical materials and time streams intersect and collide leading to a conclusion in which the music itself is absorbed in time and evaporates... The seascape paintings of Gerhard Richter, filled with waves and shadows, provided significant inspiration while composing this piece. 

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