This work is a product of my time in the Caselberg House in Broad Bay. The germinating material of the composition comes from a section of Anthony Watson’s Third String Quartet, with which I have been obsessed for some time. This section of Watson’s Quartet to me represents an interior world that is quite different from much of his other highly angular, energised music. I’ve used this chromatic chord sequence as a jumping-off point for an exploration of the viola as a solo instrument, and (I think) some interesting harmonic directions. The work as a whole gradually opens out from the chromatic twelve-tone idiom of the beginning to a more spectral harmonic language. The second movement is a homage to the second movement of Watson’s Viola Sonata, with its implacable sense of momentum and tightly focused structure.
28 Jun 2015
Performed by Emma Fetherston (viola) at Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin.