Cutwork

picc, cl/bass cl, ob, hn, tpt, trb, vib, acc, pno, vn, vla, vcl, db [10′] 2019.

Commissioner: Auckland Chamber Orchestra
Funder: Creative New Zealand
Premiere: Auckland Chamber Orchestra with conductor Peter Scholes, Raye Freedman Arts Centre, New Zealand, October 20, 2019.

Program note:

Cutwork takes its inspiration from textile decoration: material is cut away and the edges of the hole are repaired to prevent fraying and unraveling. Further stitching embellishes the fabric, reworking and refilling around the material that has been removed. The technique suggests musical analogies as well as a vision for ecological recovery. Responding to either wilful or accidental damage takes creativity and care.

I’m drawn to the image of cutwork as a way to find novel approaches to form, ornamentation and silence. What is the material that exists before we begin to cut? What do we see or hear through the gap? Drawing with scissors, we make a pattern: stitching mends the rupture and celebrates what’s missing.

Cutwork was commissioned by Peter Scholes and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and generously funded by Creative New Zealand.

Live recording by Franco Viganoni of Viganoni & Viganoni.