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In a World of Motion and Distance

    CHAMBER MUSIC piano quintet
    2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 piano

    Duration: ca. 14 minutes
    Composed: 2014

    Programme Note: In a World of Motion and Distance was commissioned by the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival to celebrate their tenth anniversary in the summer of 2014. It was written for Alexander Tselyakov and the Lafayette String Quartet.

    The piece is divided into 3 contrasting movements; fast, slow, fast. The fast movements are very energetic, with a great sense of urgency and searching. The slow movement is bleak and austere and features long lines, often in octaves in the strings.

    The initial catalyst for the piece was in drawing parallels between the creative process and the annealing of glass and metal. Elements are refined, purified, and strengthened through slow, intense heat followed by cooling. In the composition of music, the parallel processes would be doubt, revision, and persistence. At the beginning of any project, the concepts and ideas are at a great distance from the concert hall. One has to struggle, grasp, and push in order to commence and then to continue moving forward through that distance between inspiration and the finished piece.

    For this reason, the piece takes its title from a poem by Philippe Jaccottet, Les Distances. The poem reminds us that even though the birds in the sky are at a great distance, the stars are even further. Yet the poem also offers a solution: no matter what the distance between tree to bird, to sky, to stars, we can move through it all because we live in a world of motion and distance.

    Premiere: First performance in Pender Harbour, August 14, 2014.

    Recording(s): Recorded by the Lafayette String Quartet and Alexander Tselyakov.

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer