falling still (version for violin and string orchestra)

for solo violin and string orchestra

Emily Doolittle

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for solo violin and string orchestra

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Composer Emily Doolittle
Year of Composition 2001
Duration ca.5'
ISMN 9790570682539
Forces solo vln, strings
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ed1fs2


Rather than imitating or evoking natural sounds, falling still (2001) explores the difference between sounds that are made by other living creatures – such as bird and whale songs – and sounds that are the result of natural processes. Both kinds of sounds can be beautiful or interesting, even though the former are the result of choices and preferences by a living being (whether on an individual or an evolutionary level), while the latter are the byproduct of physical processes. In this piece the solo melody is parallel to a bird song – flexible, ever changing, and a result of aesthetic decisions – while the descending chord progression in the lower strings represents cyclical, inanimate sounds like wind, rain, or waves. Once the process – in this case a 16-chord progression which descends a minor 7th and then repeats – has been set in motion, it undergoes very little variation. Only once are the descending chords significantly altered to interact with the melodic line. Falling still was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts for Tafelmusik, and premiered at Scotia Festival of Music.