for sextet


for Ensemble Dal Niente // premiered April 2, 2014; Bloomington, IL

Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, alto saxophone (or english horn), piano, violin, cello
Duration: 7’45” minutes  

Program Note

“Pics or it didn’t happen” neatly sums up the status of the image in post-modern society, as reality is quite literally filtered through the camera’s lens. But when an object is observed from many perspectives at once, does the object itself transform? Walter Benjamin theorized that the photograph failed to capture the aura of an object, or in other words, the collective sediment of that object’s past, present and future. It does, however, capture the instance in which the observer chose to momentarily interrupt the long march of time. Does this act of freezing account for a kind of “off-screen” aura in which we are privy to the capturer’s moment of decision? Apertura is based on this formulation: that the witness may transform an object through observation, but in doing so their moment of transformation is forever fixed. In Apertura a virtual musical object is observed through a variety of lenses, but fails to be fully captured by any one frame. In the end, which has truly changed: the observer or the observed?