for solo violin
duration: 12 minutes

Commissioned / premiered by:

Leo Brown, violin
premiered on April 19, 2009 at The Robert & Dorothy Ludwig Schenectady JCC, Niskayuna, NY

About the work:

This is the first set of pieces I wrote that attempted to musically represent landscape in much the same way a topographical map does. On a map, the nearly infinite amount of detail present in a landscape is simplified into a limited set of useful parameters: land height, the steepness of slopes, the presence of water or trees or man-made objects.

These three solo violin pieces, written for Leo Brown, take three specific places and turn them into simplified musical representations that convey pertinent details about the landscapes. In the first, Fahnestock State Park, the violin moves through a sunny forest before descending into an abandoned iron mine, mimicking the hammering of the mine workers with repetitive, insistent gestures. In the second, the faded industrial past of Columbia County, NY is represented by the machine-like rhythms and constant momentum. In the final, Mount Prospect, the violin continually ascends, moving through swirling arpeggios until a vast and far-flung vista is revealed.