for solo violin and digital acoustics.
The work is inspired by an entry in the Diary of Anne Frank where she daringly leaves the safety of the annex one night to view the night sky-a sky she had not seen for many years. That night she wrote in her diary: “It’s not just my imagination on my part that to look up at the sky, the clouds, the moon and the stars, makes me calm and patient.” Incredibly, during this same period of time, Anne Frank was seeking refuge from the Nazis in the secret annex in Holland, the controversial conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler was conducting Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in a series of concerts in Berlin. The concerts were to provide an escape and sanctuary for the German audience during one of the darkest periods of the war. Indeed, shortly after the last concert, the concert hall was bombed. I have extracted a digital sample from an archive recording of the concert in 1944 of Furtwangler conducting a performance of Bruckner’s 5th Symphony. I have created a sound mantra from the dark “shadow” of this audio excerpt. As the piece unfolds, the violin leads us away from the mantra’s dark grasp and directs us to look up at the night sky full of stars.
Premiered at the Julliard School , March 25th, 2006
Noah Geller, violin
Audio from the premiere
Excerpt from score: