Linear Translations

for violin and piano (1983)

Duration: ca. 10 minutes

Linear Translations was composed in 1983 and was premiered in the same year by Yvar Mihashoff at a concert at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, as part of a retrospective of the work of the American painter Robert Motherwell.   The piece is itself  minimal in the true sense of the term, and was one of the first pieces in which I began to explore a  harmonic language which has aspects of both tonality and atonality.    The title refers to the way in which the musical material of the piece is generated (or "translated")  from the initial piano chord.  This concept continues throughout the piece , where the subsequent piano chords are variations on previous chordal material and where  the violin's notes (which are always played non-vibrato  to match the sound of the piano ) appear to “come out” of the piano chords that proceed them , in other words, “translating” the vertical chords linearly.