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Trouble

Trouble

for violin and chamber orchestra


  • Instrumentation: violin and chamber orchestra
  • Edition: performance material

 
description

“Good trouble,” “necessary trouble” — these are favorite phrases of U.S. Representative John Lewis, referring to the strategies and tactics of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggles for equality and justice in the last six decades.

When meeting with Jennifer Koh over the past year to discuss the details of this piece, I often found it difficult to focus; typically we found ourselves instead recoiling in horror at the events of any given day. This pattern has only intensified since January 20th, as we find our communities, our country, and our planet in greater peril with each passing hour. In creating the piece I found myself both channeling and pushing against the sensation of extreme precarity that pervades our moment.

I didn’t want to rehash the typical narrative positioning a heroic individual over or against a multitude. Ms. Koh told me that the soloist could instead be viewed as someone willing to be vulnerable, to publicly venture where most people won’t, to accept a role that no one else will accept, to bear the unbearable. In other words, the soloist can embody the relationship of an artist to her community: not so much a “leader” or “hero,” but something more like a shaman, a conduit for the forces in motion around us.

The third movement is dedicated to Vincent Chin, whose murder in the early 80s signaled an ongoing pattern of violent hate crimes against people of color. His death became a watershed moment for antiracist activism, which is as urgently needed today as it has ever been.

– Vijay Iyer

Details
Auftragswerk : Co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, music director
Content text: I Prelude: Erasure
II Normale
III For Vincent Chin
IV Cozening
V Interlude: Accretion
VI Assembly
Performance duration: 25'0"
Publisher: Schott Garden Music, New York
Year of composition: 2017
instrumentation: 1(afl, pic).1(ca).1(bcl).1-1.1.1.1-timp.2perc(gong, rain stick, s.d, b.d, cym, tub bells, glsp, xylo, mar, vib, finger cym)-pno-str
Performances
Conductor: Gil Rose
Orchestra: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
2018-11-30 | Boston,MA (United States of America), Jordan Hall
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen
Orchestra: The Knights
2017-07-13 | Lenox, MA (United States of America), Seiji Ozawa Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble; Oberlin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble; Oberlin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl | World Premiere

“Good trouble,” “necessary trouble” — these are favorite phrases of U.S. Representative John Lewis, referring to the strategies and tactics of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggles for equality and justice in the last six decades.

When meeting with Jennifer Koh over the past year to discuss the details of this piece, I often found it difficult to focus; typically we found ourselves instead recoiling in horror at the events of any given day. This pattern has only intensified since January 20th, as we find our communities, our country, and our planet in greater peril with each passing hour. In creating the piece I found myself both channeling and pushing against the sensation of extreme precarity that pervades our moment.

I didn’t want to rehash the typical narrative positioning a heroic individual over or against a multitude. Ms. Koh told me that the soloist could instead be viewed as someone willing to be vulnerable, to publicly venture where most people won’t, to accept a role that no one else will accept, to bear the unbearable. In other words, the soloist can embody the relationship of an artist to her community: not so much a “leader” or “hero,” but something more like a shaman, a conduit for the forces in motion around us.

The third movement is dedicated to Vincent Chin, whose murder in the early 80s signaled an ongoing pattern of violent hate crimes against people of color. His death became a watershed moment for antiracist activism, which is as urgently needed today as it has ever been.

– Vijay Iyer

Auftragswerk : Co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, music director
Content text: I Prelude: Erasure
II Normale
III For Vincent Chin
IV Cozening
V Interlude: Accretion
VI Assembly
Performance duration: 25'0"
Publisher: Schott Garden Music, New York
Year of composition: 2017
instrumentation: 1(afl, pic).1(ca).1(bcl).1-1.1.1.1-timp.2perc(gong, rain stick, s.d, b.d, cym, tub bells, glsp, xylo, mar, vib, finger cym)-pno-str
Conductor: Gil Rose
Orchestra: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
2018-11-30 | Boston,MA (United States of America), Jordan Hall
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen
Orchestra: The Knights
2017-07-13 | Lenox, MA (United States of America), Seiji Ozawa Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble; Oberlin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble
2017-06-15 | Berkeley, CA (United States of America), Zellerbach Hall
Conductor: Steven Schick
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble; Oberlin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble
2017-06-08 | Ojai, CA (United States of America), Libbey Bowl | World Premiere