From the Chalice of Becoming

Instrumentation Violin and percussion
Percussion requirements vib, chimes (F#, G), bass dr, susp. cymbal, small and large tamtams.

Timing ca. 4′

Composed 2003

World Premiere December 1, 2014, Craigie Hall, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. Conor Stuart, violin, and Ethan Cayko, percussion

Programme Notes

From the Chalice of Becoming is a duo for violin and percussion, drawn from my violin concerto The Chalice of Becoming, written for Jacques Israelievitch and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council. The title is taken from a painting by Odilon Redon, in which a young child looks down into a large cup, while the face of the man he will become looks back up at him. I was reminded of the idea that if we look into a child’s face, we can see something of the adult to come; and if we look into an adult’s face, we can see something of the child that once was — as though child and adult are merely two points on a continuum of time. And yet there is the unity embodied in one being.

The work opens with two contemplative solos, the first for bass drum, followed by the violin. The two players then merge with the vibraphone and violin urging each other on in a search for unity. As the two propel themselves upward together, the vibraphone suddenly cuts off, and the violin finds itself abandoned. In the final section of the piece, the violin becomes introspective again, with a single sustained F# in a solo that recalls the opening bass drum solo, and the work closes with the violin reaching out to the percussion, as though to distant memory.

PDF score excerpt

From the Chalice excerpt

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