PHILIP RICE

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Kitestrings of the Universe

soprano, flute, clarinet, contrabassoon, horn, percussion, piano, violin, cello / 17 minutes

Here I seek to express the most sublime qualities of the human mind, (particularly in the first, second, and fourth movements) and the most intimate of my own emotions (particularly in the nocturne, and in the finale). I attempted to compose in a free idiom, incorporating those elements of tonal music that are so close to the primal human emotions, but also those atonal elements that often remind us of the infinite dark corners of our reality.
The poetry brings to mind strange and beautiful imagery, conjuring up expressive responses of vast assortment, but also possessing a deep and surreal continuity. The movements progress in a specific fashion, creating a buildup and release of tension in the listener. One will hear motives appearing in an assortment of incarnations; one of the main themes, for example, (heard first in the opening statement of the flute) is sometimes rendered with a feeling of uncertainty, sometimes with a feeling of oblivion, and other times with a peaceful contentment. It is my goal to take the listener on a philosophical journey in which questions of existence, emotion, and faith are proposed, and in some senses, answered.

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Poetry by Costas Dafnis.
Recording: Faith Keehn, soprano; ensemble directed by Doug Burtch

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