Fragments of a Time and Place (2010) for Soprano, Violin, Percussion, and Piano

May 9th, 2014
Mixon Hall
Cleveland Institute of Music
Tim Mauthe, conductor

Video of the premiere, 2010 
soundSCAPE New Music Festival
Maccagno, Italy

soundSCAPE Faculty Ensemble
Tony Arnold, soprano
Beth Schneider, violin
Aiyun Huang, percussion
Tom Rosenkranz, piano

Text extracted from "Seasons of that Time and of that Place" (Winter, 1995) by Andrew Blalock (permission for use from the poet)

The January sun isn't fainter, just sharper--an edge over the pasture, cut by purple edged, low grey clouds.

The smell of sharp pine, cut by the ice...

The sky fading to cobalt blue, to slate, and a thousand stars. Visible breath, and frosted panes, our names

etched in winter's frozen breath.

A long time ago, I slept in space.
When I awoke, it was the most complete...

...a little black-haired boy sits on the orange brick steps,
Feeling the April wind sighing through the pines,
Watching the late afternoon sunlight dance on the lake below. the clock gulp the minutes one by one...

Blalock Lake, Winter 1987

Fragments of a Time and Place was commissioned by the soundSCAPE Faculty Ensemble in 2009. The poem by Andrew Blalock titled, "Seasons of that Time, and of that Place," is a nostalgic reminiscence, recalling moments through sensory descriptions from childhood in Woodstock, Georgia. The piece was written to capture the nostalgia of the poem, progressing from ebullience to a kind of space between waking and sleeping where memories seem more vivid and a sense of self is lost. The final passage of the piece features the piano playing the pitches from my grandparents' wind chimes from the steps described in the poem, imitating the sound of wind chimes in the breeze.