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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

Drones, Variations, Ornaments (2011)
Commissioned by Crash Ensemble
St. Rose Music Publishing
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Sub Category
Year Composed
14 Minutes

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Programme Note
Nico Muhly Drones, Variations, Ornaments (2011)
First performance:
November 25, 2011
Crash Ensemble
Liberty Hall, Dublin

Composer note:
Drones, Variations, Ornaments is music in constant transformation. What begins as a simple, cloud-like sequence of string chords with a trombone melody slowly transforms into an agitated perpetual motion machine of winds, guitar, percussion, and piano. The machine spits out an incessant syncopated drone on middle-C, over which a fragment of a melody in the violin and trombone slowly turns into something more dangerous. The sound of breaking glass and assorted violent string pluckings slowly ushers in a decadent, syrupy melting texture in the strings, who accompany an alto flute solo. The piece ends in a suspended crystalline structure with a cello & trombone duet.

— Nico Muhly

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