Apart (2011)

scored for chamber orchestra (2222.22.1.strings)

duration 9 minutes

Commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of their Project 440

There is always risk in live music.  We listen to our favorite pieces live not just because we want to hear the tunes we love again, but because those tunes we love come out different every time, and in that silent moment before the music begins we really have no idea what is going to happen.  This is, for me, a big part of what makes live performance so powerful.  And it was also my first thought in the long process of writing a piece for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

The piece I ended up writing for Orpheus will never sound the same way twice; I ask the players to make decisions on stage that change the structure and pacing and texture of the experience.   At times they deliberately break apart from each other, playing in their own sense of time.  At times they layer up in chance textures like the splatters on a Jackson Pollack canvas, and at a few key moments they come together and play with the unanimity of purpose and expression we associate with the best communal music making.