Tourbillon (2018)

for two cellos or cello and alto saxophone

Duration: ca. 3'15"

Written as part of the Tanglewood Composition Program 'Piece-a-Day' Project

  • Premiere
    August 14, 2018
    New Fromm Players of the Tanglewood Music Center: Sonia Mantell, Andrew Leven
    Florence Gould Auditorium, Tanglewood Music Center
    Lenox, MA

Tourbillon features a cyclical, repetitive musical idea in which alternating notes are traded between the two instruments. The title literally means “whirlwhind” in French, but can also refer to the rotating mechanism inside a watch. Written in the course of a single day as part of a composition project at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the original version was for two cellos, and highlighted the possibilities of a single line shared by two of the same instrument. In the later version for saxophone and cello (which was arranged by cellist Steven Thomas with my input), the single line is divided between two distinct instruments, eschewing the individual characteristics of the instruments in favor of a combined, multifaceted texture.