© 2019, Eliza Brown

Shaked Graces

vln, vc

 

2009

Premiered by Chris Wild and Austin Wulliman, Mar 14, 2009, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaked Graces is based on a set of historical musical materials that I find both beautiful and fascinating: the memes of Baroque ornamentation, more specifically, those set forth in Christopher Simpson’s 1659 treatise “The Division-Viol.” Taking three of Simpson’s ornaments, or “graces,” as its basis, Shaked Graces expands and contracts the elemental forms of those ornaments in time and register, applies them to multiple musical paramenters, and layers their varied manifestations upon a simple underlying form of slowly changing pitches, timbres, and dynamics. Through its many levels of variation and ornamentation, Shaked Graces investigates the boundaries of each ornament’s identity and explores what happens when historically decorative musical objects are asked to play structural roles.