I started off 2014 with a brand new piece: a violin duo for Thin Edge New Music Collective. This piece is a fortuitous coming together of a commission and an idea that had been stewing at the back of my mind for quite some time.
To earn a living, I spend quite a bit of time restoring antique wooden doors, windows and all their trims. I have grown to really love these unique pieces built from beautiful oldgrowth timbre and hardened by a hundred years of service. I spend quite a number of hours with each piece slowly peeling off years of paint, sanding away the grime and revealing the highly varied wood patterns beneath.
Staring at the wavering lines made me think of musical phrases. Imagining notes on a horizontal wooden surface brought to mind early vocal music performed around a table. The individual parts would be oriented towards all four sides of a sheet of paper, which was placed in the middle of this table so all the performers could see their music. Naturally, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to engrave a score onto a door?
So when Ilana Waniuk from Thin Edge asked me to write a violin duo for her and Suhashini Arulanandam, sparks started flying from my brain. Imagine two young women, dressed in black, playing their wooden violins around a wooden door! Visual perfection!!!
The chosen door in its original condition
Now imagine that the chosen door was also attacked with a hatchet or cleaver at some point leaving a jagged hole in one of the panels. DRAMA!!!!
After the attack, the hole was patched with a little piece of plywood
So I’ve spend the last few weeks working out the relationship between these two imaginary women trapped on opposite sides of a locked door. This relationship does not seem very peaceful, I must admit.
The door being stripped of the cheery green paint
** The door was generously donated by a friend. Thank you! **