Throw The Book (2015)

commissioned by A Far Cry

Of all the ways to make music, the one I love most is improvisation. It is within this realm of interacting with and responding to the unknown, skipping stones over a river of silence, that language is born; phrases, melodies, textures reveal themselves through dialogue between sound and stillness. Many of my happiest musical experiences have come this way, whether as a listener, composer or performer.

When A Far Cry commissioned me to write something for a concert focusing on Improvisation, I decided to forgo the safe route of composition and conventional notation, and instead to design a guided improvisation for ensemble. In a sense, I wanted to place the musicians in a similar space where I find myself most inspired — listening, responding, developing a vocabulary. There are no notes, rhythms or harmonies to work from — there is no “music” to read – rather, the piece is a large-scale framework from text-based instructions, comprised of 15 sections (cells). Some of the cells are pretty open while others are very specific. It is my hope — and here I feel as one of the “Three Little Pigs” — that the structure of the piece will stand. Only the wolf knows.

I’m very grateful to the members of A Far Cry for their trust, their gift, for going along this path with me and contributing their incredible talents to this premiere.

CATEGORY instrumental music, chamber music, flexible instrumentation
INSTRUMENTATION Originally commissioned for string orchestra, but conceivably could very well perhaps be arranged for and performed by any combination of instruments.
DURATION approximately 18 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE Forthcoming: January 9, 2015 at Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory of Music
WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMERS A Far Cry
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES n/a
RECORDING n/a
SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]

LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin) - film composer, arranger, violist | music for film, Ljova and the Kontraband, and other projects

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