Jason Eckardt (1971)

Polarities (1998)

for 7 instruments

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1998
    • Duration: 25 mn
    • Publisher: Majolika
Detailed formation
  • 1 flute (also 1 piccolo, 1 jingle bells or cowbells), 1 clarinet (also 1 bass clarinet, 1 Eb clarinet, 1 other accessory [papier de verre (sandpaper blocks)] ), 1 percussionist, 1 piano, 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello

Premiere information

Program note

    <p><em>Polarities</em> is primarily concerned with various states of opposition: independence vs. subservience, accretion vs. degradation, expansion vs. contraction, and convergence vs. divergence. These oppositions are mediated by processes whose completion or disintegration mark formal boundaries within the work. The processes are themselves subject to interruptions, elisions, and sudden changes in velocity, resulting in interference patterns that skew the bearings of their kinetic momentum.</p><p>The clearest manifestation of these oppositions is the way in which instruments gather into groups and maintain their own independence. At times, an instrumental group may forcefully impose its identity on an instrument in another group, inspiring a defection. If an individual instrument's trajectory is unstable or weak, it may be subsumed by a group or drawn to another instrument. Conversely, a maverick instrument may break free from a group and stake its own musical pathway, even initiating the formation of a new instrumental group.</p><p>These oppositions, which inform the work's dramatic character and influence its underlying processes, never completely polarize the musical environment. Rather, they animate a discourse of conflict and struggle, a conflict that, at the work's end, has failed to be resolved.</p><p>This work was funded in part by the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center.</p><p><em>Jason Eckardt.</em><br /></p>