Elegy II

$10.00

for violin or viola (2014)

 

Composer: Nick Norton
Composer: Nick Norton
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Description

Audio


Duration

3 min.

Instrumentation

solo violin or solo viola

Program Notes

I wrote Elegy II almost immediately after the Isla Vista shootings in 2014. Many of my students and friends at UCSB were deeply affected, and some came quite close to being in the line of fire.

The piece reuses some melodic material from my first elegy, which I had written for my grandmother’s funeral a few years earlier. Both end on a picardy third. For the first elegy, I considered that a way of embracing a future influenced by the love for and memories of her. For this one, I’m not so sure. At best, it feels like an honest wish for healing. In the face of the daily murder of innocent people, it feels like a hollow gesture. In any case, if the piece brings someone some comfort, I am glad for that.

 

Description

Audio


Duration

3 min.

Instrumentation

solo violin or solo viola

Program Notes

I wrote Elegy II almost immediately after the Isla Vista shootings in 2014. Many of my students and friends at UCSB were deeply affected, and some came quite close to being in the line of fire.

The piece reuses some melodic material from my first elegy, which I had written for my grandmother’s funeral a few years earlier. Both end on a picardy third. For the first elegy, I considered that a way of embracing a future influenced by the love for and memories of her. For this one, I’m not so sure. At best, it feels like an honest wish for healing. In the face of the daily murder of innocent people, it feels like a hollow gesture. In any case, if the piece brings someone some comfort, I am glad for that.

 

Additional information

Version

Violin, Viola

Nick Norton

Nick Norton is—like you—made from materials forged in the cores of stars. He was born in Los Angeles approximately 13.6 billion years after the universe and at least a few hundred thousand after vertebrates developed a system to interpret vibrating air as sound, and has been making music ever since. The LA Times describes his work as crazy, and NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku.” Lately he’s been into slowly-evolving music with electronics and effects pedals, and semi-jokingly calls his work “spectral post minimalist.” God. At an early age Nick discovered that he got a life-affirming kick out of certain arrangements of sound, so started making some by playing guitar and saxophone in bands. He studied composition in college and grad school, and in a whole bunch of garages, studios, apartments, backyards, beaches, mountains, bars, libraries, clubs, restaurants, lakes, forests, glaciers, and deserts. He now works with sound (including music!) directly in his work in film and television post production. As a composer, Nick has worked with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Chorale, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Wild Up, HOCKET, the Isaura, Formalist, Friction, and Argus string quartets, ensemble mise-en, Third Coast Percussion, EXAUDI, Aperture Duo, Ignition Duo, gnarwhallaby, Wild Rumpus, What’s Next? Ensemble, conductors Christopher Rountree and Brandon Rolle, guitarists Giacomo Baldelli and Fabricio Mattos, violists Diana Wade and Jonathan Morgan, cellists Ashley Walters and Jennifer Bewerse, bassist Miller Wrenn, soprano Justine Aronson, and pianists Jeremy Denk, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson, Richard Valitutto, Aron Kallay, and Cristina Valdes. As a solo artist, Nick plays ambient guitar with electronics, sometimes under the name Calm Machine. He quite likes working with artists in other media and has collaborated on new works with video artist Kelly McGillicuddy, dance academy Joffrey Texas, and choreographer Katie Cooper. In addition to countless shows at Art Share LA, Nick's music has been heard on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, National Sawdust, and Home Audio, at San Francisco’s Center for New Music and Hot Air Music Festival, in Seattle at the Good Shepherd Chapel, and in Los Angeles at the Hear Now Festival, Boston Court, and the Blue Whale (RIP). Whoa, nested Oxford commas. He’s received commissions from the International Horn Society, PianoSpheres, HOCKET, Synchromy, WomenSing, and Worldwide Guitar Connections. Nick’s been really lucky, because he’s had great teachers along the way, including Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, Joel Feigin, Andrew Tholl, Lei Liang, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, Robert Keeley, Harvey Sollberger, and Michel Merlet. He has also participated in masterclasses with Sofia Gubaidulina, George Benjamin, and Martin Bresnick. As an armchair political philosopher Nick rejects the distinction between high and low forms of art. He is invested in creating new experiences for listeners from all backgrounds and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. He pursues his mission through his work running Equal Sound and New Classic LA and with his bands The Newports and Honest Iago. A student of Zen Buddhism, he enjoys punk rock, cinema, craft beer, sci fi, and being in or near the ocean.


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