glide idly by

(winner of the Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music)

[a question of division]

The octet exists here as four distinct units, each fighting to maintain individual identity in the face of inevitably unifying forces.

Despite divisions of musical materials, a sheath of sameness pervades, its magnetism drawing everyone toward an increasingly uniform collective.

The groups rearrange, divisions redrawn, seeking a more sustainable differentiation, though perhaps knowing all the while that these divisions stand only to be blurred, bypassed, and eventually broken.

In the end, a meiotic attempt at establishing individual independence falls short, and we are left to an eternity
of integrated observation, wordlessly surveying a strange, unparsable landscape, where massive frozen monuments glide idly by, and luminescent snow falls, slowly, in reverse.

glide idly by was written for the Jack Quartet and Mivos Quartet and premiered in New York City in February 2015.