Fiddle States borrows from the rich tradition of American Appalachian and Bluegrass fiddling. Based partly on fiddle material, this piece plays with the many characteristics of fiddle tunes from driving rhythmic pulsation to introspective lyricism. The opening movement depicts the act of breathing using the idiomatic droning found in fiddle tunes. The second movement is a turbulent chase between the two violinists. The third movement is an introspective nocturne. In the final movement, a short set of variations on a Bluegrass tune gradually spin out longer and longer melodic patterns, building to a climax to conclude the work.
Fiddle States was commissioned by Martha Walvoord.
Martha and Jennifer Walvoord, violins
MacIntosh Theatre, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
April 15, 2005