solo violin or solo viola
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.
Nick Norton is – like you – made from materials forged in the cores of stars. The composer/guitarist/concert-producer was born in Los Angeles approximately 13.6 billion years after the universe and has been making music ever since. He is deeply interested in the colorful grey areas between genres, creating new experiences for listeners, and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. In pursuit of this he founded and runs Equal Sound and New Classic LA, and has collaborated with HOCKET, gnarwhallaby, Ensemble Mise En, the Argus, Friction, and Formalist quartets, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Wild Rumpus, Synchromy, What’s Next? Ensemble, Ignition Duo, and numerous soloists. He plays guitar, bass, and electronics in The Newports, Honest Iago, and Better Looking People With Superior Ideas. The LA Times describes his music as crazy, NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku,” and Fool In The Forest said they were “fit to melt steel.” Nick really enjoys craft beer, sci fi, and being near or in the ocean, and holds degrees from UC San Diego and King’s College London. He is currently pursuing his PhD in composition from UC Santa Barbara, where he also teaches.
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