'Never Finished, Only Abandoned'

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In anticipation of the world premiere of Alexandre Lunsqui's New York Philharmonic-commissioned Fibers, Yarn and Wire this Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 at the Metropolitan Museum and Symphony Space, respectively, Q2 Music presents an exclusive chance to get to know the composer behind this season's NY Phil CONTACT! new-music series. Delayed webcasts of CONTACT! can be heard on Q2 Music December 21, 24 and 29.

A few days ago, the New York Philharmonic gave the world premiere of my piece Fibers, Yarn and Wire. Before I go into the details, I’d like to say that I could not be happier with the performances. I cannot fully describe the intensity of watching and listening to those musicians playing my piece. It was a profound experience.

On Saturday (December 17th), during the introductory talk on stage, composer Magnus Lindberg asked me a few specific questions about the instrumentation and how I assembled the musical material throughout the piece. My answer was that, once the instruments were chosen, my goal was to create a very “beautiful machine.” It's like the idea of a clock. However, instead of the predictability of the clock, this machine should be full of surprises.

During both performances, I felt that the musicians were fully committed to the music. Each gesture had not only precision and virtuosity, but also depth and engagement. The maestro Alan Gilbert brought out the full scope of energy and colors of the music. The very nice acoustics of the auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum somewhat enhanced the kaleidoscopic nature of my piece, both when there were thick textures and when there were very few sounds. 

Both concerts were packed and the responses from the audience were very warm and positive. I was particularly pleased that virtually no one referred to my piece as belonging to any stylistic segment. I felt that the people had experienced the piece with openness and a sense of adventure. 

Magnus Lindberg, HK Gruber and myself went out for some drinks after the end of this fantastic journey. It was inevitable to talk about the experiences from the concerts. But it was also very enjoyable to spend time talking about culture, families, personal struggles and nature. Lindberg was especially intrigued by recent discoveries showing that neutrinos might travel faster than the speed of light. That was when we switched from beer to single malt.

To finish this last blog post, I would like to paraphrase Leonardo da Vinci: a piece of music is never finished, only abandoned.

Thanks to everyone who took part in this incredible journey. I hope to see you all soon!