(2011) / 21’
For Solo Violin and Orchestra
Solo Violin—4(I,II/Picc;III/Bfl).1.3(I,II/Bcl).0—4.3 in C.3+1Btbn.1—(4 - 6)Perc—1Hp—Pf—Acdn—126.96.36.199.8
Co-commissioned by Beethovenfest Bonn and BBC Radio 3
First performanced at Beethoven Festival 2011 in Bonn by Carolin Widmann and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling
Still, as in unchanging, ongoing, with an exhauting insistence, always, in essence, the same.
Fragments, each time slightly varied, gradually create a single image. Imprints reiterated and projected into time and space. Like a giant mobile seen from many perspectives, that in itself remains untouched. And light changes, the focus, and the position from which perceived, is altered, as is nearness and distance to the object - a manifest complex protraction of the one single thing.
Still, as in stasis, explores two starkly contrasting states, in a fragile state of equilibrium.
Still refers to the framing of sound with silence, of „stillness“ imagined - silence being an endless potential, waiting to be revealed and made audible. The act of composing being to unveal, make visible. Pulling gently on the fragile thread of sound, drawing out from the depths of imagined silence; or alternatively, sound erupting from the stasis of relative silence.
Still is also the title of a Beckett short story, which ends with the following:
„As if even in the dark eyes closed not enough and perhaps even more than ever necessary against that no such thing the further shelter of the hand...
Leave it so all quite still or try listening to the sounds all quite still head in hand listening for a sound.“
Samuel Beckett, Still, Calder Publications 1974.
Beckett´s Still sketches a single situation: turning the head towards the setting sun, the unknown protagonist watches night fall, darkness gathering; then head placed slowly and carefully in hands, waiting, as darkness unfolds, for a sound. As if in eternity, a timeless melancholy, curtly and brutally honest, yet imbued with a humaness, a softness. A statis; the human body waiting, trembling.