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Lightly Suite
for violin and guitar
(2013)

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The bad pun used as the title for this suite relates to the original concept I had when gathering ideas for it: to compose light, rather simple music that would be mostly pleasant, yet still clever enough to possess a bit of depth. In many ways, the resulting suite does adhere to this plan, but at times the music develops more complexity than I originally expected. For this reason, and even though the music is not difficult to understand, the original title “Simple Suite” didn’t seem appropriate. Furthermore, though it sometimes eschews traditional notions of what “sweet” music is, I still hear this piece as a set of lightly sweet musical inventions.

The first movement is called “Improvisation” and is meant to capture the mood of a free-form prelude, as if the players were improvising on a set of chords. “Dialogue”, the second movement, is basically a conversation between the violin and guitar. There are times when one instrument simply accompanies the other, but generally both players add important thoughts to the conversation. The third movement begins with a guitar accompaniment supporting the violin’s “Song”. Later on, these roles are reversed. “Dance” is both a quasi-aristocratic eighteenth-century gavotte for violin and a rather sombre and chromatic waltz for guitar. There is emphatic disagreement over which dance the players should be executing, but by the end of the movement a solution to this dilemma seems to be found. Finally, “Pursuit”, the fifth and final movement is like a playful chase that is interrupted by a dreamy pause to catch one’s breath.

(duration ca. 15 minutes)