My friends Nicholas Leh Baker and Faith Jones of Duo Scordatura released their self-titled, debut album a few months ago. The album features a number of pieces that were commissioned by and written for the duo (violin and viola), including one of my own: Turbine. They did a fantastic job with this recording and performed the hell out of my piece. The group received a rather nice review by Andrew Sigler over at New Music Box, which you can read here. Of my piece, Sigler had this to say:
George Heathco’s Turbine features a Q&A between the two instruments that quickly overlap and become a sort of hockety canon starting in the lower registers and ascending by and by as the piece develops. A bright harmonic tonal center sways from dark to light and back again, as an ostinato in the viola plays against double stops in the violin. Pizz moments make their way into this trading texture, one that never gets too busy but always feels full and focused. This leads to a more legato section followed by a reductive ending in which a long phrase played between the instruments gets pared away until there is nothing left.
I love writing for Duo Scordatura, as they are incredibly passionate about playing any and all music, especially by younger composers and friends! I have now written a couple of pieces for the group, the other being Hammerballet, which augments the group by adding a piano. In addition to those, I’ll be writing another piece for them as part of an upcoming commissioning project. Many more details will be announced as the project draws near.