MELIA WATRAS: LONTANO
for violin and viola (2017)
World Premiere: Yura Lee, violin; Melia Watras, viola; May 27, 2018, Seattle, WA
For me, the term lontano (far-off, remote) in music conjures up something defined, yet undefined at the same time. It brings to my mind Alberto Giacometti’s minuscule sculptures, each small enough to fit into a matchbox. In them, he was able to create the effect of looking at someone at a great distance, in part by the contrast between the tiny subject and the base on which they are displayed. It’s amazing how Giacometti communicates so much with very little information to the viewer.
In my short piece, which is part of my Folk Style Project, the primary conflict is between expressive material, and the restriction of the essence of a string player’s identity: their sound.