for Piano Quintet (cl,vln,vla,vc,pn)
commissioned by Fifth House Ensemble and the Fresh In Festival
Freedom is often interpreted as an escape from some form of restraint or confinement. When one attains freedom, they gain a new set of liberties with which they can use to act in the world, express themself, and live autonomously. However, freedom from one form of restraint does not immediately result in exemption from all forms of control. Historically, when various oppressed groups of people fought for and attained freedom, they often found themselves facing new forms of oppression. In this way, "true" freedom seems to be a perpetually illusive concept rather than a tangible state. Every time we are released from our repressive bonds, we find new limits that were unseen in our previous state of restriction.
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It is this perpetual cycle of limitation and release that is the focus of this work. Several simultaneous limitations restrict the sounds each instrument is capable of producing. As the music progresses, the instruments break through the restraints placed upon them and gain more liberties to colour the sound world they exist in. At various points in the music, the sounds will seem to "regress" to a former state of freedom. However, when these more "restricted" sounds return, they are mixed with "free" sounds and integrated into the less restricted sound world. This forms the basis of the continuous dialogue between freedom and oppression that drives the cycle.