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Gandelsman, part 3

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Gandelsman, part 3

Olivia Davis' Steeped, in three movements, begins with obscure mutterings interrupted by bold double-stops creating a dimensional space through dynamics. The three movements are Impromptu, Moto perpetuo and Cadenza. Total duration is just shy of 14 minutes. The multi-movement structure lends itself to contrast: the first movement is improvisatory, the second is about constant motion and the third challenges the notion of a cadenza by making it a meandering finale. I quite liked the structural use of dynamics and rhythm.

Olivia Davis, we learn from her New Music USA bio, is a DMA candidate in composition at the University of Michigan. We are lucky to have a live performance of Steeped by Johnny Gandelsman on YouTube:

And here is a clip of the composer commenting on the work:

Tardigrades by Nick Dunston (based in Berlin and New York) is named after those hardy microscopic animals that can survive the lack of food and water for amazing stretches of time. The composer contrasts this with what he sees as the fragility of human existence. The piece begins with an extended percussive section and uses a lot of extreme timbres and pizzicato. There is a clip on YouTube.

And here is the composer discussing the work:

The last piece in this post is Dew, Time, Linger by Adeliia Faizullina. In the notes the composer writes:
I see time as a fragile drop of dew, like nature's ticking clock. It is fragile, and the pandemic made that even clearer. This tiny drop of dew reflects the whole world. You hold it, and you try to keep this little water drop and save it, but it melts down and evaporates--it is already in the past.

The piece uses haunting harmonics, slow percussive ticking and extended trills to explore our sense of passing time. Here is a live performance by Johnny Gandelsman: 

And here is a commentary by the composer:

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