This Violin Concerto explores the ancient concept of the Five Elements (space, air, fire, water and earth), through the modern lens of climate change. Each of these elements can be so uniquely beautiful and awe-inspiring when they are in balance with one another — and yet when they are out of balance, they can cause boundless destruction. This work is a celebration of the incredible ecosystem we call home, a tough look down the road of destruction of that home, and a prayer of atonement, and hope for the restoration.
I was incredibly honored to collaborate with Kala Ramnath on this concerto — we each brought our unique body of knowledge into creating something that reached further than either of us could have conceived alone. It was Kala who first came to me with the concept for this work, and it is her melodies, with their unique raag and taal, and lively rhythmic interplay that form the backbone of this concerto. I expanded out those melodies into orchestra, surrounding Kala and creating a work that allowed musicians from both cultures to meet one another, and step into each others’ expressive worlds.
These issues that affect our natural world are so broad — they cross countries and cultures. It is our hope that this work brings us together, and allows us to have these difficult discussions from a place of mutual respect and understanding.
Due to union regulations, we cannot make a recording of this work available publicly. If you would like to request an archival work of this recording for programming purposes, please contact us.
Special Performance Requirements
This work was written specifically for Kala Ramnath. It requires a violinist with Hindustani classical training. The nature of the work might support a variety of other bowed string instruments (cello, violin, sarangi) — however the performer will need Indian classical training — it is not designed for Western classical players.
The soloist will also need to be amplified, and elevated on a platform on the stage (as they will be seated cross-legged on the ground.
This piece was commissioned by Seattle Symphony for Hindustani violinist Kala Ramnath. It was premiered on March 20, 2022 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA.