Monday, April 16, 2012

A Composition Called "Triunity" - A Trinity of Four??...

Allow me to share a tale with you about a piece of music - a piece written with its genesis perhaps having never been exactly duplicated prior to its writing:
A few months ago I received an E-mail from one of my dearest friends, who happens to be an eminent violinist, and who teaches and performs in Europe. He is Ricardo Odriozola, whom I have written about before. I have been blessed by way of his many wonderful performances of my works over the years, some of which you can see and hear on the Internet, as well as obtain my music on CD, if you should like to hear this important musician perform.
To get back to this particular E-mail; it was redolent with sadness and a poignancy I remember well today, as he related to me the death of one of the most important teachers he had as a youngster; a teacher he learned to love and respect like few others in his life. I had a sense that this teacher, named Francisco, was veritably a second father to him as well as a vital component in his early musical journey. I could almost see the tears flowing from these words, and I was so touched that my first thought would be, perhaps, to write a piece in dedication to the memory of Francisco.
Almost immediately upon thinking about this issue, I became absolutely dumbfounded by a flash of memory that appeared; namely, that I had had MY Francisco in my youth, and that HE had become, as with Ricardo, a veritable second father to ME , as well as a truly great teacher, what with his knowledge, loving support and at times an almost vicious attachment to the search for artistic integrity, let alone the answers needed for the core values in performance and the commensurate unremitting disciplines. This wonderful gentleman, whose first name was Jerome, was my teacher at Eastman School of Music, and who had been teaching there for some thirty years when I first crossed his path. After my education was complete years later, Jerome and I became great friends. I would visit him regularly during my early professional years, and he truly was a kind of second father to me. Upon his passing, his music was bequeathed to me, an undying honor, knowing how many students he had worked with over so many years.
Well, an almost instant idea formed - I would write a series of brief reminiscences of my experiences with Jerome, such as "glee, after a good lesson," or "So Ein Kerl!" (What a Guy!) etc, which added up to eleven little movements, ending with an "adieu."
So these notes I wrote were formed by my experiences with Jerome. I would then send these notes to Ricardo, with no directions whatsoever; no tempi, dynamics, phrasing etc. - only the notes, and I would propose to Ricardo that he 're-compose' the music by forming the meaning of these notes to fit the entity called Francisco. In a rather true sense, the piece would have been "composed" twice; one incarnation being the image of Jerome, the other bearing the spirit of Francisco.
Ricardo embraced the concept, the result being "Triunity," describing a kind of triangle formed by two students; namely Ricardo and I, being taught, seemingly, by one entity, housed in two bodies, generations apart.
Ricardo gave the world premiere of this piece in Finland in March of this year, and it can now be seen on YouTube and, perhaps in the future, in a recorded format.
I can find no evidence of this experience having occurred before - as you know there are many hundreds of compositions dedicated by composers; but this experience was not a simple dedication to one person or entity; rather, a kind of metamorphosis traveling through space from one spirit; namely the writer of the notes, to another spirit, the performer, who transmogrified these notes to fit his spiritual needs.
To state that this was a unique experience is to understate...

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