Nineteen Movements for Unaccompanied Cello (2017)
Commissioned by Arlen Hlusko with support from the Tarisio Trust
Also available as a 25-minute suite and an 8-minute single movement
Nineteen Movements for Unaccompanied Cello is a program-length collection of short, contradistinctive movements that explore the vast expressive capabilities of the cello while at the same time forming a powerful and cohesive narrative arc.
The work is organized as a sort of palindrome wherein many of the movements correspond to a “false twin” later in the work in which fundamental musical ideas are reimagined and recast. In some instances, the transformation is significant; in others, material is repeated verbatim to create unmistakable narrative connections. The longest and most dramatic movement is at the center of the work and has no twin.
Using this formal architecture as a frame, I conceived of the work as a kind of theater in music, a piece in which simple, human characters are introduced, developed, and transformed in the course of an evening.