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Torn Threads Rewoven (2002)
3/3/3/3; 4/3/3/1; timp., 3perc., hp.; str.; ca. 8:00
Commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony
Feb. 16, 2003
New York Youth Symphony, Paul Haas conductor
Carnegie Hall, New York
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Torn Threads Re-Woven is my personal response to the tragic events of Sept. 11th. The title comes from an advertisement I saw in a tailor shop window while wandering through downtown Manhattan after visiting "ground zero." Haunted by the devastation that had, up to then, only been images on the nightly news, I came across the sign which read in large letters: "RE-WEAVING," or the process of restoring torn or frayed threads. As I walked passed the window, this word stuck in my mind. I began to picture "ground zero" as a huge tear in the physical and emotional landscape of New York City. Re-weaving threads became a metaphor for both my desire to turn back the clock on the events of Sept. 11th, that had become so real, and my need to look for hope in the face of such great loss.
Torn Threads Re-Woven begins with a loud "tearing" gesture in the form of grotesque glissandi in the string section, landing on the pitch A, played very passionately. Like jagged edges of torn fabric, this gesture is rigidly juxtaposed with two other musical "threads": a ritualistic chant, played by muted trumpets, and a fragment of a simple song, played by flutes and percussion. These musical ideas become the materials upon which the rest of the piece is based.
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