Second Day Nothing

fl, cl, 2 prc, string quartet
(2008) 6′

Program Note

Second Day Nothing is written after Jonas Burgert's painting of the same name. The painting depicts a busy, chaotic scene in which a variety of humanoid beings surround what appears to be some kind of crater. From this crater the crowd extracts a neon-colored ooze, dipping and hauling buckets from the scene of recent destruction. The painting is equally colorful and unsettling, and is filled with stark contrasts between bright and dark colors.



In writing the piece to accompany this painting, I opted to depict the scene as Burgert has. The piece is meant to illustrate the aftermath of some traumatic event. The music opens with what may be the very end of a large explosion. Following this, the strings gradually accumulate sonorities as if filling a crater with some thick substance. Next, one may hear buckets being lifted ever-upwards as the ensemble plays gestures that always rise from below. The music then intensifies and the accumulation of sound continues. In the end, though, the music returns to where it began, with only faint whispers to remind one of the crowd that once gathered at this site. The piece was written for a Fall 2008 concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado, and the premiere was conducted by Devin Hughes.

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Second Day Nothing

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