23. November 2021

in nomines (1-4), surrogates, limbs, etc.


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Evan Johnsonin nomines (1-4), surrogates, limbs, etc. (2016-18)
for clarinet and string trio

Carl Rosman, clarinet
Hannah Weirich, violin
Axel Porath, viola
Dirk Wietheger, violoncello

Janet Sinica, video/editing
Jan Böyng, editing
Stephan Schmidt, recording producer/editing

Programme note by Evan Johnson, 2021

Most of my work of the last decade tends, more or less, to extremes of quiet, sparseness, and fragmentation; in nomines (1-4), surrogates, limbs, etc. pushes these forces to, or perhaps beyond, their breaking point. As the title opaquely suggests, the piece does in fact comprise four readings of the famous In nomine line from the Benedictus of John Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, sometimes extended, troped, via inserted “limbs,” and sometimes overwritten, obstructed and elaborated by passages labeled “surrogates.” But more directly, in its extended duration, lengthy pauses, slow and painfully tentative rhetoric, and extraordinarily tense extremes of quietude, in nomines (1-4)… may be the purest example of what my recent work is trying to create: the most tenuous possible lines, the faintest, shakiest language, riddled with holes and torn at the margins, a sense of melody and grace that is palpably present but caught in the process of collapsing into nothingness.