Two Visions from the Center (1986)

Instrumentation: string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, double bass)

Duration: 24:00

Commissioned by Kansas Music Teachers Association

Premiered by the string faculty of Wichita State University at the  KMTA convention, Washburn University; Topeka, Kansas; November 6, 1986

Movements:
I. Incantation
II. Spirit Dance

Notes: The “center” of the title refers to the experience of living in the center of the North American continent for, in my case, the first time and, also, to the psychological center of the self. The piece is in two movements, the first of a haunting and  lyrical character, the second fast and rhythmic. In addition to traditional string writing, the piece presents a number of extended string techniques such as col leg no and harmonic glissandos.

Comments: KMTA gave me an open commission. When Paul Ousley (double bass) heard about it, he said, “Write it for the Fairmont Quartet (WSU) plus me!”

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