Orianna Webb -- Works
sax (sop, bari), gtr (acoustic, amplified), perc, pno
Commissioned by Armin Kelly and Guitars International.
Sustenance Variations was written for the ensemble Flexible Music. I was very pleased to write a piece for my friend Daniel Lippel and his excellent collaborators. I initially got to "sustenance" through sustain and resonance. How do you make a sound last on the guitar and piano? Even in percussion, it is only an illusion created by repeated attacks. Without sustain, you have decay. Sustenance is whatever makes us last, lets us hold out and thrive. In this piece, sustain becomes a collaborative venture. At the opening, percussive chords in the piano and guitar are given resonance by the saxophone and vibes, and soon the sustain takes on a life of its own. The piece has few transitions; instead, contrasting sections interrupt each other and sometimes overlap. The middle section has the quality of a quiet, intimate song, like a lullaby. At the end of the piece, the opening music returns, but this time the percussive chords are "sustained" by a fast-changing montage of the earlier musics.