[Click image to view sample PDF score]
While teaching at the Merit School of Music in the basement of a former train station in downtown Chicago, I heard the most extraordinary sounds emanating from a neighboring room: similar to an electric guitar but with the articulation of a violin. I quickly excused myself from my class and sought the origin of this beautiful noise, finding my colleague Chuck Bontrager playing a seven-string electric violin, called a “Viper.” I immediately decided to compose something for him and this instrument.
This piece is very simple, based entirely on the first note heard, a low Bb. The instrument is tuned so that the pitches match the natural resonance from that first note. This is the first in my series of Introspections, solo works using microtonality.