I have appended this work movement by movement, and it reached its final form in 2022. The work can be performed as any combination of up to seven movements :
I. Versa est (2019)
II. Delusional Occidents (2014–2015)
III. flashbacklash (2016)
Miniatures for Orchestra (2022):
2. Prompting ground
3. Barred and barren displays
4. Sacrificial wisdom
I wanted to take a fresh approach to the orchestra after my youthful award-winning work for chamber orchestra, Me-Di-Tres (2006-2007).
As can be heard from my output, the compositional questions and tools I was working with in late 2014 were significantly changed from 2007. I tend to set myself one or two major compositional questions each year.
In composing for large orchestra, I wanted to take a healthy distance to the occidental use of the orchestra where instruments tend to retain their assigned roles throughout the standard repertoire and 20th-century composers had done little to challenge our modes of listening, with some exceptions such as G.Ligeti.
In the first movement I finished, Delusional Occidents, I thought of the compositional step of orchestration as almost a delusion which obstructs composers from using the vast sonic resources of the orchestra more intuitively and to a wider extent.
Here, I have composed using matching timbres and gestures that can rapidly shift the listener’s focus. The movement was workshopped with the Sibelius Academy Conducting Class Orchestra in 2015.
The next movement I composed, flashbacklash, was heard played by a larger orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic as its workshopping corpus in early 2016. Thus I was able to compose pointing at a wholistic mode of listening to massive entities, such as a the one a sound engineer might have when listening at the mixing desk. The music has several flashbacks as the different sonic and pulsating groups fade in and out, in different combinations.
At the time of me naming this movement, the heated societal and political discussion in Helsinki revolved around the issues, or indeed non-issues, of a recent wave of immigration. I was able to see backlashes in the discussion, since statements on both sides seemed to miss some of the elementary understanding society had reached thus far. This kind of swelling back-and-forth is not unfamiliar to the movement I composed, either.
The movement “Versa est” is abstractly based on the famous text “Versa est in luctum”.
Miniatures for Orchestra are based on poems that I saw first printed on scraps of paper hanging on the streets of Prague near the Lennon Wall in Malá Strana, and then found online in early 2022. The texts were early reactions to the considerable expansion of the Russian war against Ukraine’s sovereignty and right to existence. For each movement except “Barred and barren displays”, I took one of such texts as my inspiration. The texts speak of the sacrifices and casualties, the breaking of peace and calm, and psychological and physical ground.