The Darkest Timeline

Premiered February 2017

The Darkest Timeline was written for the 2016-17 Cedar Commissions. 

 

Meterhey

Premiered May 2016

Performed by Matra

Program Notes from "Matra: Eastern and Western at the Southern" - May, 2016: 

“Meterhey is actually two words, read in a question: “Meter, he?” I pushed them together and wrote it in an Amercian English pronunciation. This was a question that I constantly asked when getting into taxis in Mumbai, which was how I primarily travelled, (besides the trains). The question asks, “Is there a meter?” During rush hour or sometimes just if they see you are a tourist, taxi drivers will try to overcharge you instead of using a meter, so it is common to ask this question when trying to get somewhere, especially during a busy time.

This piece is also primarily inspired by the relentless noise of taxi horns honking. The honking never stops in the city, so I decided to sit down and determine what exactly those pitches were. I found that the most common were a combination of F# and G, which is what you’ll hear Jenny playing at the beginning, and is also laced throughout the piece. 

The piece also utilizes concepts from classical Indian music. Instead of a free solo section, the marimba and vibe parts alternate tehaais, which is essentially a rhythm that is repeated three times to land on the downbeat. The tehaais in this piece are very non-traditional, primarily because the meter at that point is in 5/4 time, and we are not at this point using cycles of time, but instead picking and choosing downbeats.  Listeners should still be able to hear the tension and release of these phrases. 

Mumbai is a massive juxtaposition of extremes - that is the essence of the city. Extreme wealth, extreme poverty, wonderful smells intermingled with awful smells, and so many things happening at once and so quickly, while many other things move very slowly.  Jenny’s part, a very sixteenth-note driven melody, is representative of all the tiny details, activities, and distractions of every individual in the city: people, cats, dogs, and cows. Eventually, after having my senses harassed by the constant stimulation, I felt the huge city moving as one massive organism, where every tiny thing plays a part. This realization is represented in the broad bass line that comes in well after the other instruments have entered. Mumbai’s beauty lies, for me, in that intensity, juxtaposition and realization.”

- Krissy Bergmark

 

10am

Premiered May 2016

Performed by Matra

Program Notes from "Matra: Eastern and Western at the Southern" - May, 2016: 

“10am is a tune heavily influenced by one of my musical heroes, Bela Fleck. The ideas for the opening statement comes almost directly from his tune with the Flecktones, entitled ‘New South Africa.’  The main melody’s flowing but unusual harmonic rhythm is also inspired by another Blea Fleck and the Flecktones track, entitled, ‘UFO Tofu.’

Although the tune is inspired primarily from Bela Fleck’s music, there is still evidence that this tune was written while I was in India. The melody and solo sections close out each time with a pseudo-tehaai idea (a tehaai is a phrase that repeats three times, often over four bars and lands on the downbeat - the tehaai in this tune does not land on the downbeat). 

The title is based on how my mornings in India would often go - I would wake up for breakfast, return, and head out to explore around 10am. It’s one of my favorite times of the day - especially in India. Heading out to go exploring while the day felt so fresh was incredible. I felt like anything could happen, and I felt that this tune captured that potentiality.”

- Krissy Bergmark

 

The Real Moves

Premiered summer 2015

Performed by Matra

Program Notes from "Matra: Eastern and Western at the Southern" - May, 2016: 

“I wrote this piece about a year ago, and all in one night. I was on my computer and happened to find this video of these two dancers, and the music they were dancing to was really pretty, but I was shocked at the emotion in their movements.  I am used to being moved by music, but was surprised to be so moved by dance. I sat down and wrote this tune. When I presented it to Matra, we played through and they dug a little deeper into some of the imagery it evoked for them. They said it felt post-apocalyptic, like a devastating event was happening. Really, I think that these two dancers (Renee Kester and Phillip Chbeeb - please check out their beautiful work!) made me feel like nothing else in that moment mattered, and that their expressed longing and distress made it feel like everything would be lost.“

- Krissy Bergmark

 

Life in a day

Performed by Matra

Program Notes from "Matra: Eastern and Western at the Southern" - May, 2016: 

“Life in a Day is a tune that I wrote, but the melody was originally conceived by the founding members of Matra, which is why it feels to me a little like one of the treasures of the band. It sort of discreetly encapsulates bits of our history, and has stayed an important tune to us for a long time. This tune, like many of our pieces, feels like there are bits of longing and hope at what is ahead. I love that this piece has been with us for so long, and sort of seen us through all of our transitional periods and our striving for growth and to become better musicians.”

- Krissy Bergmark