White Music Windharfe Loading
commissioned by MaerzMusik – Festival für Zeitfragen and Konzerthaus Berlin, dedicated to Peter Rundel
 

How many swans were there? White Constellation, their silence, piercing some violence, The water. Each planetary, an organ. If the train slowly rips the field in two, Makes a shore, as it were, then where Were you, burning like birds…  - Quinn Latimer, Like a Women

The inspiration for the piece was both visually and musically evoked by the above Quinn Latimer poetic essay; suggesting the use of the organ as the central, spinal element of the musical body. The organ serves here also as a sort of a sandglass (referring to my Sandglasses, performed at Maerzmusik in 2011) as the borderlines of its range determine the limits of the time, in which the whole acoustic organism unfolds. Furthermore, all other layers of the orchestra are affected by the strong gravitation force represented by the organ. The dualistic structure of composition, based on opposite motions (catabasis versus anabasis) slowly crossing each other, reminds one also of the beautifully symmetrical shape of the Cygnus (Swan) constellation.                                                                                           The title of the piece is an hommage to Onutė Narbutaitė (Was there a butterfly? for string orchestra, 2013), one of my "lighthouse" composers.

Duration: 20' ca.

Premiere: 28 March 2019, org. Martin Knizia, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, cond. Peter Rundel at the Maerzmusik festival / Konzerthaus Berlin (DE)

Review: "Was There a Swan? by Lithuanian composer Janulyte received its world premiere, and beautifully illustrated what its creator calls “monochrome music” – only strings, only winds, or only voices. But here she employed the full orchestra, with a prominent role for organ played by Martin Knizia. Lines in the organ’s highest register opened the piece, unleashing a mesmerizing collision of translucent, richly textured sound. A levitating din both sumptuous and fraught came to a close in the same fashion in which it started; it felt like a symmetrical dreamscape." by Steve Smith / In Review: MaerzMusik Festival. National Sawdust