Eric Wubbels ยท "the children of fire come looking for fire" (1/2)

"the children of fire come looking for fire" (2012)
[Duos with Piano III]

instrumentation: amplified violin, prepared piano
duration: 25'
date: 2012

The spur for this piece, as well as its source material and guiding metaphor, comes from a cadence in the coda of an early Brahms piano piece (Op. 10, Nr. 4)-- a bizarrely symmetrical, contrary motion "wedge" shape that contracts from a perfect fifth to a perfect fourth and inwards to unison.

In the context of this piece, the idea of the wedge (i.e. ">") is converted to a neume that functions on every structural level of the piece, from global trajectories to micro-gestures and even physical motions for the performers. Additionally, the metaphorical implications of this shape (contraction, filtering, focusing in from a wide field to a single point; to stretch it further-- tuning; further still--- renunciation) structure the unfolding of the material over the course of the form. The material from Brahms is heard fleetingly at the end, rasterized to just intonation.

The piece was written for, and is dedicated to, Josh Modney, with whom the violin material was developed over the course of several months of meetings, working sessions, and rehearsals. The piece couldn't have been written without his patient, open, and committed involvement in the process.