Check out this cool new music group The Syndicate in Cleveland, OH April 12 performing some great pieces by composers and friends: Geoffrey King, Andrew Stock, Josh Rosner and myself! Violinist Tara Lynn Ramsey and Violist Andrew Stock will be performing my most recent duet Lucet Aurora “dawn shines” Check the program note and cool poster below for more info, enjoy!
Lucet Aurora “dawn shines” refers to the antiphon composed by Hildegard von Bingen entitled “Hodie Aperuit”. The idea of recreating the textural sound world of choral performance, in this case chant, by use of instrumental ensembles has fascinated me for years, consequently two of Bingen’s chants were used as subjects throughout the composition of this piece. Here I attempt to recreate this sound world by way of several layers of antiphonally related material, passed as a sort of canon or call-and-response between the two performers. The modal/chant based pitched world and utilization of the open strings and extraction of harmonic overtones from these instruments allowed me not only to re-enact the vocal consonances and organ-esque flexing of a choir but also to erect the reverberant church-like architecture in which this chant may be performed.
Originally inspired by Bingen’s chant and illusions of the Ionian mode, this work took on the unexpected guise of operatically revolving sections. Perhaps stumbling upon Bingen’s liturgical drama Ordo Virtutum stimulated this association, therefore the final form became an arrangement of four contrasting sections: recitative, intermezzo, ritornello and aria/duet which are constantly interrupting one another over the course of the piece. This is in part my own form of historical performance, how I hear it best. “I play my own blues” – Lighting Hopkins. Lucet Aurora is part of the Melos Cycle for violin trio, in which a series of violin solos are performed one after the other, each based on a mode and the concept of its etymology and complex historical foundation.