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Matthew Aucoin

Publisher: AMP

Evidence (2016)
Work Notes
Canadian premiere reserved.
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Sub Category
Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Programme Note
Matthew Aucoin Evidence (2016)
Composer Note:
The basic difference between music and religion is music's fondness for evidence.

Music-making — at least as I understand it — is a religious practice, but music doesn't have much time for faith. You wouldn't trust a composer or performer who says "I know my music doesn't sound that great, but…take my word for it." Good music both enacts and embodies. It's both an act of praise and evidence of some other order, a consciousness, a presence. It speaks to us of some "elsewhere" by manifesting burnt traces of that elsewhere.

I find the word "evidence" inexplicably beautiful. Even the Merriam-Webster definition — awkwardly worded, at first glance — feels resonant: "something which shows that something else exists or is true." When a piece of music is convincing on its own terms — when it earns its affirmations, or when it seduces us into some landscape that we would have thought uninhabitable — hasn't it manifested the presence of some other, self-sufficient world? Sure, it's a world that the composer dreamed up, literally an "imaginary" one — but to me that's even more exciting: it means she or he has revealed some hidden powers lurking within the materials of this world.

The image that kept returning to me as I worked on Evidence was that of a journey from shore to shore in some challenging element — maybe a sea journey, or a journey through space. Whatever the element is, I wanted to see if I could get from one shore to the other. I hope you enjoy the ride.

— Matthew Aucoin

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