Fabric of a World Unfolding (2012)

Written for Kathleen Supove’s 2012 Music with a View Festival
Premiered May 22, 2012 at the Flea Theater in TriBeCa

(fl, cl, vln, vla, pno, and 2 channel electronics)

“i am a work in progress
dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding”

– Ani Difranco

Fabric of a World Unfolding is my first attempt to combine two compositional interests of mine, live acoustic “classical” music and music created through the use of digital sampling. The electronic tape part of Fabric is built with samples of pre-existing recordings, a technique I became interested in after first encountering the work of pop artist Girl Talk. Through the use of digital manipulations, what began as familiar “pop” sounds are transformed and take on a new identity. Although I have completed several tape only works, this is my first time combining this technique with live acoustic instruments.

Musically, Fabric of a World Unfolding consists of a single, slowly evolving texture. Beginning with solo electronics, the acoustic instruments struggle to find their place in this new, unfamiliar soundscape. As the work progresses, the acoustic gestures become stronger and more deliberate. However, as soon as this happens, the electronics overtake the acoustic material and pushes the soundscape to the point of distorted self destruction. After a series of successive climaxes, with the sounds pushed to their literal and figurative limits, the electronics collapse in on themselves. The remnants of the electronic soundscape become an ever evolving, reverbant drone. The acoustic instruments begin to play the gestures we’ve heard before until both the acoustic instruments and the electronics fade into the single cello line, which itself then gradually fades away into the final gasp of the electronic texture.

This work was written as an homage to Ani Difranco, a folk artist whose music has had a profound impact on me, and is dedicated with much love and gratitude to Zibuokle Martinaitytė, whose guidance has helped me, not only realize this work, but rekindle my passion for the act of music composition.