Instrumentation Violin (scordatura) and percussion (one player)
Violin scordatura E tuned up to F, A tuned down to Ab
Percussion requirements ocarina, vibraphone, 2 bongos, 3 tom-toms, bass dr, snare dr, susp. cymbal, stainless steel pot with water, timpani (2 or 3)

Timing 11′ in four movements

Composed 1992

World Premiere January 31, 1993, Kulas Hall, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Ohio. Anna Hughes, violin, and Matthew Bassett, percussion

Programme Notes


The four movements of this sonata for violin and percussion depict the four elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Musically, the movements are connected in a way similar to the elements they represent: Earth emphasises the lifesource using primordial drones and drumming; Water springs forth from Earth, then evaporates and ascends into Air, which in turn provides the sustenance for Fire, whose blaze replenishes the Earth. This cycle of energy is reflected in the progression from low to high register, and in the percussion instruments, which frame the delicate central movements with vigorous drumming.

Elemental was written for, and is dedicated to, violinist Anna Hughes.

PDF perusal score

Elemental duo perusal

Audio excerpt (Water movement)

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