Lines in Motion

Lines in Motion, a concert piece for violin and orchestra, is set in three movements. The first section contains patterned lines which gradually appear, instrument by instrument, overlapping and cascading, while generating the backdrop or canvas that eventually presents an emerging violin soloist. The instrumentalists of the orchestra perform angular lines with a regular pulsation, whereas the violinist takes the solo line in a brand new direction entirely, rising above the orchestra—as if actively and creatively splashing paint over the canvas. My intent is to create the sensation and beauty of improvisation for the violinist—lending the part perceived flexibility and freedom.

The middle movement of this concerto is primarily calm, reflective, searching music. The direct lines, form and meaning are at once graspable, yet evade expectation. This quasi una fantasia presents an array of common musical elements: Lyrical melodic contours; splashes of layered orchestration; powerful, tutti statements; and even a quasi-electric guitar soli for the solo violinist and concertmaster. (The “rock solo” suggests Rauschenberg’s making art out of found materials.) The resulting, cumulative musical and emotive effect is my primary goal, being one of joy and contemplation.

The third movement features the violinist and the entire orchestra in a fast-paced, virtuosic toccata. This piece plays with sharply contrasting textural densities as well. From the outset, the violin line is presented alone with the xylophone. Then, immediately, the line is stated by the full orchestra. Sparse texture, thick texture, back and forth it goes…until a brief pause here and there. The resulting juxtapositions make for exciting interplay leading to the works' conclusion!