Nonet

for 9 players

mixed chamber ensemble


Nonet (2020)

In Nonet, subtle sonic explorations on each instrument — double oboe harmonics, shimmering detuned accordion unisons, grainy bowed harp, low drum pulses — combine into lush, nebular ensemble sonorities. Pitch may be fixed or flexible. Rhythm may be constant or intermittent. Texture may be static or shifting. Throughout the piece, one morphing sound-cloud merges slowly into the next, as individual instruments emerge and recede, like a cloud forest ramble at dawn. 

While sketching the piece, I imagined material and set constraints with the aid of an invisible (silent) chisel. This pre-compositional tool allowed me to whittle away the unnecessary content to effectively unveil only the usable ideas. The invisible chisel revealed gestures specifically for Ghost Ensemble to realize within the context of various decontrolled parameters. In this shared sense of vision, individual parts coalesced on their own terms to synthesize an all-inclusive whole over the course of this unhurried composition for nine musicians. 

Breana Gilcher: oboe

Margaret Lancaster: alto flute

Lucia Stavros: harp

Ben Richter: accordion

Cassia Streb: viola

Tyler J. Borden: cello

James Ilgenfritz: contrabass

Scott Worthington: contrabass

Chris Nappi: percussion

Carl Bettendorf: conductor