the heavens can make light and flame and ice and water (2022)
for solo accordion and electronics
The full score can be downloaded here.
Electronics files are available from Aaron upon request
The piece takes – as its starting point – a reading of a translation of a poem by Ukrainian poet Kateryna Babkina. This reading was analysed (for pitch and rhythmic content), processed heavily (in the electronic samples) and reflected upon constantly while I was composing the piece.
Throughout the piece, the player is directed to perform (in general) extremely quietly with violently loud accents. The effect is one of a text or spoken dialogue that is half-remembered by the listener. The electronics alternatively veil the performance further, or illuminate it concretely with snippets of text and moments of concrete interaction with the live performer.
Though the piece was composed mostly in 2021, it was completed and premiered three weeks into the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, in March 2022. It carries within it every resonance of sadness, anger, helplessness, smallness, and loss which I have felt in watching that criminal tragedy unfold.
Commissioned as part of the Royal Academy of Music #200pieces project, and premiered on 15th March 2022 by Iñigo Mikeleiz.