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Filigree
for contrabass and piano
(2015)

 

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Even though I had an image of certain types of Chinese painting or silk ornamentation in mind when composing this piece, I chose the title “Filigree” because such jewelry is constructed out of similarly delicate lines. As one might expect, then, this piece is essentially a weave of intricately interacting melodies. Technically, it’s based on a series of overlapping pentatonic scales that appear as short melodic fragments and longer lines. There is a continual rising of overlapping patterns as the piece builds to its most “luxurious” and complex climax, then the texture simplifies as delicate lines traces out an ending. In terms of expression, I hope the bass will be played in ways that call to mind the thin and delicate lines of an erhu.

(duration ca. 5:30)