RICHARD KARPEN: I’M JUST SAYING…
for solo viola and chamber orchestra (2019)
World Premiere: Melia Watras, viola; Ludovic Morlot, conductor; Seattle Symphony; March 15, 2019, Gerlich Theater, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
There are only small differences between how we experience the past and the future. The immediate past and the immediate future gather around us to make a more robust present. As our pasts recede, even with tangible evidence that they existed, we can only experience it all in our imaginations. As we try to see deeper into the future we only have our expectations, desires, or fears for what will be that are also imaginary. Music touches us as listeners (whether we be musicians or audience members) by creating probes into each persons’ experiences of their own pasts and futures. This is the magic and mystery of all music of all genres. And this is what I am exploring and experimenting with in my work as a composer, as a performer, and most of all as a listener.
It’s always most enjoyable for me to compose for friends. I’m just saying… was composed for two of the best musicians and most thoughtful and generous people I know: violist Melia Watras and conductor Ludovic Morlot. I’m grateful for their inspiring artistry, their deeply poetic sensibilities, and for their partnership over many years to create music together and to teach the next generation of musicians and listeners together. Many thanks to them and the other members of the School of Music and the Seattle Symphony, some of whom are part of this concert, who have worked so hard to make both organizations points of pride and excellence.