Secret Machine no. 7

solo violin (2023)ca.18”

Secret Machine no. 7 was completed after a series of workshops with violinist Miranda​ Cuckson over a two-year period. The piece uses a metal mute and has a scordatura,​ tuning the violin’s G string down to an E. The mute allows for the violin to emerge and​ fade into nothing.​ Much of the music was conjured by dreaming, and it gave me the feeling I was​ channeling​ something telegraphed in from the outside. The material is organized in an​ ever-expanding, wave-like song form, and correlated to a wave-like expansion of the​ violin’s range. The piece’s hyper-virtuosity generates an unusual, cool glow of resonance.​ While writing, I often imagined Miranda performing the music while hovering​ over a blue-glowing portal, with the sounds of her violin communicating in a secret
cosmological language to activate it.​ I would write down the dream-music in the early morning with a muted violin in my​ lap. Mapping my hand’s way around the violin, I tried to weave a soulful, melodic line​ expanding and contracting into a labyrinth of brilliant harmonics and​ resonance.​ Seeing how Miranda danced through the music over our various workshops​ also guided my decisions.