Lost Anthems

viola and piano (2019)

An early draft of Lost Anthems had the subtitle, “Songs intended to bring people together but after there are no people left to bring together.” I eventually dropped the subtitle because the concept I was trying to express seems better suited for a program note, or a conversation. Lost Anthems is composed of 15 contrasting sections. Each section is a melodic, song-like texture in search of itself. Song fragments congeal to form a series of anthems that peel away, return, or sometimes disintegrate and disappear forever. Like a phantom melody threading through the various sections, the anthems navigate different treatments of time and transverse a series of fields, which I call time-feel bubbles. Sometimes the time-feel bubbles are groovy and other times floating. There are no transitions between the rhythmic languages of each section so the performers must jump between the different world-feels; the contrast between the worlds is just as important as the worlds themselves. The various differences are further brought into focus using timbres achieved by the prepared piano in combination with viola extended techniques. I liked the idea of the work being about anthems, rather than just songs, because the anthem is an inherently social song. Ultimately, Lost Anthems imagines all the world’s people singing songs that haunt the earth well into a humanless future.

World Premiere

August 10, 2019
Madison New Music Festival
Madison, Wisconsin
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, viola
Karl Larson, piano

UK Premiere

November 28, 2019
The 20/19 Project: Made in Transition, Part 2 at the Turner Contemporary
Margate, England
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, viola
Zeynep Özsuca, piano