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YEAR: 2014
DURATION: 8 minutes
INSTRUMENTATION: Violin, Viola, 2 Cellos
PREMIERE: October 28, 2014
Auer Hall
Indiana University
DEDICATION: Scott and Alexia Kadish

Program Note:

Purple is a haunting, yet beautiful color.

It evokes darkness and mystery. It is transparent and atmospheric in nature.

Purple is imaginative and regal covered in a mist of ambiguity.

Purple was written shortly after a catastrophic event. In the summer of 2013, a young boy named Ethan was struck by lightening at a Jewish overnight camp. His life and his family’s life were changed forever.

Purple should be played with a sense of mystery, pain, longing, tragedy, and an occasional ray of hope. The sense of meter should nearly vanish. I’ve found that the most successful way to perform this piece is to listen more than count. The sense of continuity and false expectations are by far two of the most important elements of this piece.

It is also important to note some crucial affects that occur as symbolic elements throughout. The beginning through measure 31 represents mysticism and heartache. Measures 32-37 are characteristic of agony, suffering, and finally defeat. The absence of this material later in the piece is representative of the family’s realization that there is nothing they can do to change what has happened, so getting aggravated won’t solve anything.

Directly following this section, there is a moment of hope that elegantly transforms into yearning. The entire middle section is a mirage. Let the music breath. Let it grow and die as needed. Allow the soloists to soar above the faded texture with ease. There should be an obvious foreground and background in this section, as well as an extremely large build towards the climax at measure 120 where all emotions have built up and exploded in an enormous hue of color.

Following the climax is a decay to nothingness. For me, this is the most painful part of the piece. It’s the point at which the family truly realizes the gravity of the catastrophe. To further this idea, mutes are used to symbolize the damper that has been put on the family. They will no longer be able to live their lives the same way and will forever be scarred by this devastating event.

When I wrote this piece, I felt and heard a deep purple. Try to internalize this purple, the despair, the tragedy. Let this seep into your mind, your body, and your spirit and completely dictate the way that this piece is performed.