Storm King Suite
I. Expanding Fractal I (for Andy Goldsworthy)
II. Wavefield (Maya Lin)
III. Serra I
IV. Expanding Fractal II
V. Goldsworthy Wall
VI. Serra II
VII. Converging Fractal
VIII. Leaf Miniature (for Andy Goldsworthy)
IX. Expanding Fractal III
Approximately 30 minutes.
Storm King Suite is a set of nine pieces for viola and cello inspired by three of the artists at Storm King Art Center in Windsor, NY.
Maya Lin’s Wavefield is an undulating landscape, as is the movement in the suite based on it. Always in motion, the undulations, swells, and trills are made even more evident in the performance by constant string crossings, so that even the instrumentalists’ bow arms trace the shape of the land.
Richard Serra’s works inspire the two movements that prove to be the starkest of the set. Sharp edges and hard materials are made evident through rigid attacks and harsh dissonance. There is beauty, here, but it is hard-won.
Andy Goldsworthy’s art is simple, clean, and elegant. His wall at Storm King winds through a forest before disappearing into a pond, only to reemerge on the other side, where there are no trees. The musical version of this features a snaky, mysterious melody interrupted by pillar chords that becomes watery and diffuse before returning, distant, without pillar chords.
Goldsworthy’s work featuring holes punched in a leaf was the inspiration for a delicate miniature in which the viola and cello weave in and out of each other’s double stops, allowing light to shine through.
Andy Goldsworthy’s fractals are the inspiration for four miniatures. An expanding sequence of dyads (beginning with a minor second and expanding to two octaves) lengthens as it stretches. This is also heard backwards (in Converging Fractal).
The piece was written for, and is dedicated to, Kimberly Sparr and Natasha Farny.
Caroline Mallonee (b. 1975) is a composer and performer based in Buffalo, NY. Mallonee’s music has been programmed at venues in New York City including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, Bargemusic, Tenri Cultural Center, Town Hall, Roulette, and Tonic, as well as further afield at the Long Leaf Opera Festival (NC), Carlsbad Music Festival (CA), Bennington Chamber Music Conference (VT), Cambridge Music Festival (UK), Tokyo Opera City (Japan), the Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC), Turner Ballroom (Milwaukee, WI) and Jordan Hall (Boston, MA).
Inspired by scientific phenomena, visual art, languages, and the propagation of sound, Mallonee has been commissioned to write new pieces for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Firebird Ensemble, Present Music, Wet Ink Ensemble, Antares, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, ANA Trio, Ciompi Quartet, and the Buffalo Chamber Players, for whom she serves as composer-in-residence. Her music has been performed by soloists including pianists Eric Huebner, Steven Beck, Stephen Gosling, and John McDonald, as well as Haruka Fujii (percussion), Natasha Farny (cello), Miranda Cuckson (violin), Amy Glidden (violin), Feng Hew (cello), Janz Castelo (viola) and Kimberly Sparr (viola). The New York Philharmonic included her music on its CONTACT! new music series at National Sawdust in 2015.
Mallonee has been recognized through commissions and awards from the Fromm Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Jerome Fund for New Music, and ASCAP, from which she received a Morton Gould Young Composers Award.
She is a professional singer in the Vocalis Chamber Choir and is the director of the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat, a week-long festival for composers and improvisers held in New Hampshire each June. As a violinist, Mallonee was a founding member of pulsoptional (based in North Carolina) and Glissando (based in New York City).
She studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague (Fulbright Fellowship, 2005), Scott Lindroth and Stephen Jaffe at Duke University (Ph.D. 2006), Joseph Schwantner and Evan Ziporyn at the Yale School of Music (M.M. 2000), and Bernard Rands and Mario Davidovsky at Harvard University (B.A. 1997).