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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

Fits and Bursts (2002),
Commissioned by Bard College
St. Rose Music Publishing
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
6 Minutes
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Programme Note
Nico Muhly Fits and Bursts (2002),
Fits & Bursts was commissioned by Bard College to commemorate the occasion of the naming of their new performing arts center, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. As a piece of music designed to celebrate a site of artistic production, Fits & Bursts attempts to mimic one of the most frustrating and exciting aspects of the creative process: the violent transformation of a small idea onto a large scale. The piece is organized around several short, spastic improvisatory tutti sections whose energy comes from the shimmering blocks of sound at the beginning of the piece. Towards the end of the piece, the music organizes itself into several huge chords with moving parts – an incorporation of some of Frank Gehry’s sketches for the Fisher Center. The piece ends in a sort of ecstatic conflict – appropriate, I believe, for a building designed to house creation, trial & error, mistakes, and performance.

Nico Muhly

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