I spent much of July 2016 working from my aunt and uncle’s living room. There was one spot, my favorite spot, where I could sit surveying the Virginia woods and admire the verdant leaves, the brown bark, and the weathered moss-gray roof across the street. As colors, they all blended seamlessly together but the obstinate heft of the roof disrupted the gentle flow of the fauna behind it. Each time I looked out the window, I was beguiled by that interplay of simultaneous harmony and tension.
Accordingly, “An Integrity of Clouds” opens with a unison line that continually frays both vertically and horizontally. This idea receives a sonata-like exposition in the piece’s first half, but instead of continuing to a development and recapitulation, the second half retraces the first’s steps in greater detail, culminating in a recasting of the first half’s closing material. In that sense, The piece progresses like an essay, beginning with a thesis then elaborating on that point — namely, the centrifugal tension within unity and the centripetal harmony of variety.
Year Composed: 2016/2017
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, marimba, piano
Duration: 6½ minutes
Premiere: 18 February 2018 by Ensemble Dal Niente
Performance History: complete performance list
Perusal Score: Download Now