String Theory: Works for string orchestra/KINETIC + Pierre Jalbert
This project involves recording three of my works for string orchestra with Houston’s premier string orchestra, the KINETIC ensemble. We plan to do the recordings in Houston, Texas at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall in December 2019. The three works in the recording will be String Theory, Autumn Rhapsody, and Elegy, each of which will receive its first commercial recording. These works have been performed in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston, and our hope is to get them out to an even wider audience.
Formed in 2015, KINETIC is a collective of 16 passionate and diverse musicians who thrive on collaboration to create high energy, innovative, and world-class live performances throughout the city of Houston. Led by founder & Artistic Director, Natalie Lin, the ensemble can be seen performing in various traditional & nontraditional spaces around town like at MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center), in art galleries, schools, and hospitals.
String Theory (2016) was written for the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and also performed twice by KINETIC during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Elegy was written for the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, and Autumn Rhapsody was written for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Jaime Laredo, conductor, for their Fall concert tour; it has also been performed by the New World Symphony. KINETIC will perform Autumn Rhapsody during the 2019-2020 season in collaboration with Musiqa in Houston.
Each of the works has in common the exploration of a variety of string textures and techniques, as well as the contrasting lyrical and rhythmically driving possibilities with the instruments. Each work also features solo writing for some of the principal players.
String Theory is in three movements: Partials, Timeless, and Rhythmus. The work takes as its inspiration the idea of dynamic vibrating strings, referring to both the musical instruments and the theory of quantum gravity. In terms of the string instruments, the idea of dividing a string in various ways to produce harmonics (Partials), sustaining long held tones (Timeless), and rapidly moving the bow back and forth along the string (Rhythmus) all played a part in the work, as did the idea of vibrating strings propagating through space-time and interacting with each other in various ways. Elegy takes as its point of departure a slow, lyrical chorale which gradually grows and transforms into a more forceful statement. Autumn Rhapsody contrasts a lyrical, mysterious opening with the faster, more animated and energetic music which forms the bulk of the piece.
I am excited to work with the amazing performers of the KINETIC ensemble and recording engineer Todd Hulslander. It will be fantastic to have these premiere recordings of my string orchestra music available commercially and I look forward to making this project come to fruition.
A video of the Enso String Quartet playing Pierre Jalbert’s Icefield Sonnets (3rd movement – North is a Notion)
Excerpts of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto, Steven Copes, violin, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Zehetmair, conductor
Start and End Dates
12/03/2019 — 06/30/2020