Susan Maughlin Wood
Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Parallel Plaid
III. Off Script
"We are all on the spectrum."
The inner world is complete unto itself, but invites understanding. I am adding a video element to my new sonatina Parallel Plaid to highlight ways in which people* anywhere on the ASD and so-called ADHD spectrums (i.e. everyone) both identify with, and to some extent are, ourselves, wind-up toys going about our lives single-mindedly. Focus is absolute, but fleeting in its direction. Intensity is laser-sharp, but short-lived and not easily controlled.
*the complexity of people defies labeling, but insofar as labels exist, the spectrum model (think prismatic solid circle as opposed to single line) most closely represents our differences within a given shared aspect of humanity. For every aspect, the spectrum model is inclusive and shows that everyone shares certain traits and only differ in the degree to which they possess those traits and the degree to which their particular combination of traits aids and/or hinders them in their everyday lives.
For the most part, piano is parent, violin is child.
violin establishes footing solo on the tonic
pizzicato is the inner world “stimming," arco is outside interaction
dissonant, percussive movement
violin repeatedly reaching out and immediately returning to tonic
piano has perfect fifths but shifting key center up and down 1/2 steps
trying to help violin get bearings… takes brief melodic stroll
first interval is augmented 4th then overreaches to M6th, then m6
and finally finds the fifth representing normality
arco section = willing to engage,
brief extroversion then runs out of words so
retreats back into pizz inner world
very brief movement
= transformation, resistance, movement, growth
single minded in pursuit of goal
going about the day
wind picks up, holding onto flower
dramatic upset at trivial change in routine
parent checks in on child occasionally
= gaining independence
high energy tango feel
but too quirky to dance to
near end: brief return to original pizzicato motif as comfort (stim)
before coda dives into high, inverted, loud version of
main statement and riffing, fragmenting, punctuating
right up until the emphatic end
Studies in Harmonics 7-12
From 1998 to 2016, I composed 12 studies for solo guitar exploring what was compositionally possible if I restricted myself to only the notes that can be played as harmonics. Studies 1-6 are original compositions while studies 7-12 are arrangements of traditional Christian hymns, suitable not only as etudes but as interludes in liturgical settings.
The title is a surprise to be revealed after the performance but I will give you the subtitle:
For Houdini who did not believe but wanted to Cello solo suite in a bunch of sections (7?)
S. Eric Scribner
There will be two short musique-concrète works. The first piece is called Phase Canon no. 1, the second, Eco Slab Gong.
Both of these are "remixes" of material done by friends of mine originally. The Phase Canon is not a Star Trek weapon, but a treatment of a flute improvisation by Ginny Landgraf—made into a canon that goes through "phasing" as in repetitive minimalism, though there is a twist. This could probably be notated and performed live, though it would take extremely precise micro-timing and micro-tuning. Eco Slab Gong is acoustically processed: a hailstorm recorded by Jonathon Storm, projected by loudspeakers onto the slab gong. The resonances from the gong were recorded and multi-tracked in a similar manner to the Phase Canon.