frigia (2012) for pierrot ensemble and soprano

Commission: Lunar Ensemble

Instrumentation: flute (doubling alto flute), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), piano, violin, cello and soprano

Duration: 13 minutes

Program Notes: frigia is inspired by the changing foilage of the New England fall and winter seasons, and is set to text written by the composer. Like the text, the piece is a skewed palindrome, with the outer sections mirrored around the word ‘frigia‘. The music’s noir and psychedelic qualities, painted in part by the low soprano writing and the juxtaposition of microtonal and diatonic clusters in the instrumental ensemble, are a reflection on the composer’s reinterpretation of beauty.

The word frigia is from the Flash Gordon comic series, where it the name of an ultra-modern ice kingdom ruled by Queen Fria, on the rogue planet Mongo.

Text:
leaf tombe [leaf falls]

splashes of red
cruel bite
bled their beauty away

frigia, all is withdrawn

bleach of silence
without breath
frost-coated embers decay

雪 jatuh [snow falls]

– text by the composer

Premiere: March 2012 | Lunar Ensemble | Baltimore MD

Performance: May 2012 | New Music Brandeis | Waltham MA
August 2012 | Chamber Sounds | Singapore [version without voice]
October 2012 | Israel Contemporary Players | Tel Aviv, Israel [version without voice]
March 2013 | Acoustic Uproar | Boston MA [version without voice]
March 2013 | Lunar Ensemble | New Orleans LO [version without voice]

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