Growth II – Snare Drum Concerto
written for the Concept Store Quartet
The premiere performance by the Concept Store Quartet with Alicja Pilarczyk (violin), Pablo González Balaguer (saxophone), Nejc Grm (accordion), and Jeanne Larrouturou (percussion) took place on February 15th in Berlin, Germany. The composition was commissioned with funds from the Fachausschuss Musik BS/BL.
It is said that Oliver Messien and Jean Sibelius were synaesthetes who saw colors while listening to music. I myself see geometric, undulating, wafting forms, and when I look at fine art, I often hear sounds in return. In my Growth series, I compose music imagining that it is seen, smelled, felt or touched. The basic rule for Growth is that each work consists of three movements, and for each movement a found sound object serves as a point of departure – a kind of sourdough starter – from which the conceptual, rhythmic, harmonic, or structural substructure of a movement can ferment or sprout. The sound object can be a historical music recording, a field recording, or an interview and it maybe partially audible in some form or entirely not at all.
The weight of the instrument’s tradition was decisive for the selection of objects in the Violin Concerto. But in the case of the Snare Drum Concerto, the non-European origin and the military role of the snare drum were decisive for the selection. The movements are called Wilted recitatives revitalized, a nod to the underdeveloped parlando qualities of the snare drum; A Kotsuzumi and Kagkegoe sandwich dipped in cultural appropriation; and lastly John Lennon thunderclouds with Yoko Ono lighting bolts with Yoko Ono's Ono-Chord message serving as a click track only the soloist can hear: „I love you“.
Mike Svoboda in February 2022