Kaleidoscopes – for solo viola

Kaleidoscopes – Wendy Richman

I wrote Kaleidoscopes for Wendy Richman. I wanted the piece to continually shift and yet feel familiar, inspired by pieces like John Cage’s Eight Whiskus for solo violin, which uses tonal melodies varied through different string techniques, like pizzicatosul ponticello, and sul tasto. But rather than changing melodies the way Cage did, I chose a more complex melody and used these different techniques to create different moods, all centering around various feelings of instability. From volatile sections to freely floating sections, the player is invited to make more choices about the music as the piece goes on, starting in a strict tempo with written dynamics and bow placement, and gradually taking control over the shape of the piece.

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