“Metanoia” is a violin concerto for an improvising soloist, string orchestra, and spatial soundscape. It was commissioned by the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, Poland. The piece was composed for NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra with jazz violinist Adam Bałdych as a soloist. The instrumental parts are derived from the sound material in the electronic layer, and draw on two ancient types of performance practice: heterophony and improvisation. The solo violin part is partly notated, partly improvised. The soloist is expected to create his or her own unique responses to the notated phrases, in a dialogue with the electronic soundscape, the orchestra and the acoustic space.
Sounds in the electroacoustic layer are based on sound material I recorded using various Ambisonic microphones in acoustically inspiring spaces. These sounds include instrumental samples (Ewa Trębacz – violin, Josiah Boothby – French horn) as well as doors, gates and metal objects in Fort Worden bunkers and in the reactor building of the Satsop Nuclear Plant, in Washington State. Most sound sequences were algorithmically generated from this prerecorded material.
The Greek word metanoia means a transformative change of mind, a fundamental change of one’s thinking leading to a transformative experience. The violin is the instrument I play myself, and have a very personal relationship with, after many departures and comebacks. I see this piece as my own “reconciliation” with this one-of-a-kind instrument.
September 22, 2020
W.Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw
63rd International Festival of Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn"
Adam Bałdych, violin, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Christian Danowicz, conductor
Project co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland within the programme „Composing’ Commissions” implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
I owe my special thanks to the Department Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington.
- Ewa Trębacz