Instrumentation string orchestra (suggested minimum 66442; celli are at times divisi a4)

Timing 10′

Composed 2019

Commissioned by The Morningside Music Bridge

World Premiere August 3, 2019, Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, USA. Morningside Music Bridge Orchestra; Earl Lee, conductor

Performances by Morningside Music Bridge Orchestra; Ontario Philharmonic

Programme Notes

Drivetime is inspired by the idea of travelling and the way that we perceive time when in motion. When we are in a car on a highway, for example, it may feel like we are moving quickly. But to someone looking down from a plane flying overhead, that car looks like it is barely moving. Meanwhile, that person in the plane may be moving very quickly relative to the earth, but from inside the plane the speed feels slow. In heavy traffic, every vehicle may be moving slowly and incrementally, but from a distance, it looks like they are not moving at all (and it may certainly feel like that to the drivers). It may seem like movement is suspended, yet within that suspension, each vehicle is still in motion.

In this single-movement high-energy work for string orchestra, we experience the passage of time at multiple levels, all related to the same inner pulse. Time passes in real time, in slow motion, and sped up, the differences being only in our perception. The music presses intensely forward, turns to a sensation of slowing down, becomes suspended as though the movement were viewed from a distance, and speeds up again, finally closing on an explosion of energy.

Drivetime was commissioned by The Morningside Music Bridge.


Live premiere recording by Morningside Music Bridge conducted by Earl Lee. John Abram, recording engineer

PDF perusal score

Drivetime perusal

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