Karst (2023)

for violin and percussion

Duration: ca. 13'00"

Commissioned by ensembleNewSRQ

  • Premiere
    January 22, 2024
    ensemblenewSRQ: Samantha Bennett, violin; George Nickson, percussion
    First Congregational Church
    Sarasota, FL

Karst is a multi-movement duo for violin and percussion commissioned by and written for ensemblenewSRQ. The title refers to a type of landscape common in Florida, where the ensemble and I are both based, in which the limestone bedrock has been dissolved by rainwater, resulting in features like caves, sinkholes, and freshwater springs. I aim to evoke a cavernous atmosphere in the piece, particularly in the outer movements, by featuring resonant harmonies and spacious textures.

The five movements also function as a series of tandem etudes, where I treat the instruments interdependently by combining them in blended textures, highlighting the percussive elements of the violin and the lyrical potential of percussion. The players trade notes of compound melodies, imitate each other, and contribute to hocketing grooves. Their interplay mirrors the interaction of rock and water in the landscape, which creates new formations not achievable by either alone.