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When I wrote my Culs-de-sac (en passacaille) for string quartet in 2009, it was evident to me that I should develop the sonic soundscape that I have created in that piece. I have decided that I write Les six aspects du néant, a cycle of compositions for string quartet and its subsets. Envoi II marks the fourth piece that I completed in this cycle. Envoi is another series of pieces I have been working on since 2015. In this piece, these two cycles intersect in their compositional and affective senses.
This piece relates itself to the cycle Les six aspects du néant, for its compositional materials are taken from the pieces within that cycle that I have already written. These materials have been then worked out once again in order to compose this piece. In its literary sense, an envoi (or envoy) is an author’s concluding words, or a short stanza that concludes a ballade. In modern French, it is a word frequently used to denote the action of “sending off” (packages or letters) or simply “sending” (one’s best wishes, etc.). While its author is specific, the recipient could be, depending on the context, open-ended. It may be to someone alive, or it may be to a fictional character, or someone deceased.
As I started to write this piece, I received the news that James Deitz, percussionist whom I have been privileged to know since my time during the graduate studies at Yale University, departed from this world. This piece is dedicated to his memory.
Many thanks are due to Prof. Fuyuko Fukunaka, musicologist at Tokyo University of the Arts who extended the opportunity to write this work for the Music From Japan Festival 2017, Mr. Naoyuki Miura and Ms. Mari Ono, organizers of Music From Japan (New York), and the members of Momenta Quartet.
Trieste Palma Festival (Trieste, Italy)
Members of Momenta Quartet
Scandinavia House, New York
Music From Japan Festival 2017