for Solo Cello
Premiered by the composer at Brown University, Jagolinzer Commencement Recital, May 23, 2015
Three subsequent performances in Austin, TX 2016-2017 by James Burch, Tetractys New Music.
“Ancient” was a musical reflection on my undergraduate years at Brown. The title refers to the sense of timelessness in contemplation. It evokes a space where memories arise spontaneously, take on a life of their own, and eventually subside into silence. These personal memories recall my feelings of gratitude, longing, humor, and finally, peace. The piece is characterized by two contrasting motives that develop in a modal space. The cascading gesture of the opening recalls the left hand line of many Nocturnes by Chopin. In the rest of the piece, I built upon the playfulness - and tension - that results from including both major and minor third scale degrees. Certain Hindustani and Carnatic ragas exemplify this expressive technique. The modes that grow and change in “Ancient” blend my interest in the Classical Indian recordings of Hariprasad Chaurasia, Kala Ramnath, and L. Subramaniam among others, with my recent study of the Ligeti Sonata for Solo Cello.