MORGAN HAYES (b.1973): Violin Concerto, Port Rhumbus for Ensemble, Slippage for Piano and Ensemble, for Piano: Strides: Books 1 and 2, Puppet Theatre, Lute Stop, 3 Distressed Surfaces, for Violin: Lucky's Speech, Lucky's Dream.
Catalogue Number: 02N085
Description: Hayes' idiom frequently involves the abstraction of elements or forms from earlier genres, which are then reconfigured into the composer's own mercurial, kaleidoscopic language. Sometimes harmonic figuration is the raw material that is adopted and adapted, as in the piano miniatures that make up the ongoing series Strides; sometimes it is playing styles related to previous music - mid-20th century modernism and Bach's counterpoint in the Lucky violin pieces; sometimes a formal tradition, in the case of the concerto. This work, one of Hayes the miniaturist's most extended scores to date, adapts the theme of the soloist striving for self-expression against the antagonism of the crowd common to many violin concertos, with the violin constantly trying to take flight in continuous virtuosic lines, while the ensemble insists on a texture of fragmented blocks of sound. The earlier works - Slippage, and the Distressed Surfaces - plainly show the influence of Hayes' teacher, Finnissy; in the more recent pieces the frequently tonal nature of the underlying material, and a feeling of jazz-like freedom, are given freer rein.