for clarinet, violin, cello and piano
premiered by Music from Copland House
Harumi Rhodes, violin; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello;
Carol McGonnell, clarinet; and Michael Boriskin, piano
Tasveer marks a very special point for me as a composer. During the 2011-2012 year, I was living in India on a Fulbright grant, studying Hindustani classical music. My days there were filled with music, between Hindustani vocal lessons, attending concerts, constantly meeting new musicians and playing with them. I was so busy taking in everything around me that I barely composed anything for an entire year.
Tasveer was the first piece I wrote after returning from India. It is in this piece that I began to confront the dramatic shifts that had taken place in my musical perception over that very formative year, and began to scratch the surface of the ideas and concepts that now form the backbone of the music I write.
The concept of this piece is simple: a trill is passed back and forth between instruments, expanding and condensing, pulling and pushing time, and becoming densely melodically ornamented while retaining it’s harmonic transparency. Hindustani ornamentation is so beautiful and ephemeral, and this was one of my first attempts to capture these little wisps of sound on the page.
A video from a 2015 performance of Tasveer at WQXR Greene Space in New York:
Below is a video about CULTIVATE 2012, the program that commissioned Tasveer. The piece can be heard at various intervals throughout the video in the background.