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Composed: 2019

Length: c. 20 minutes

Orchestration: Strings and solo violin

About this Piece

Shrink (Concerto for violin and strings) is in three movements. Each movement obsesses over certain intervals: the first, ninths; the second, sixths; and the final, a tiny set of anxious intervals between unisons and fourths. The overall structure suggests an intensifying focus on these small building-blocks, a process which is reflected in the speed of each movement. The first (“Ninths”) proceeds quickly, becomes aggressive, and dissolves into small fragments. The second movement (“Sixths”) is slow and taut, with a looped sequence of chords whose character becomes increasingly thick and heavy. The last movement (“Turns”) is fast, nervous, and scattered, with occasional giant unisons coming in and out of focus. Shrink is dedicated to Pekka Kuusisto. 

–Nico Muhly