Year Authored (or revised): 


Instrumentation : 

for flute/piccolo/alto flute; clarinet/bass clarinet; piano, violin, cello, percussion (1)

Duration (min): 


Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University

Composer's note:
Implicit Memory, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition for the New York New Music Ensemble, was written during the late summer and early fall of 2007. It’s dedicated with admiration and affection to the New York New Music Ensemble.

While composing the piece, it was a pleasure to have a clear aural image of these six musicians, each a virtuoso in their own right. Implicit Memory is, among other things, my attempt to capture some of the things that they can do.

So, from the beginning, I had the idea of featuring each member of the ensemble in turn. The passages in which each player is featured don’t always take the form of solo and accompaniment, but more often, the featured instrument dominates in one way or another.

Thus, the opening section is weighted toward mallet percussion while the other instruments play music which could have been played by the marimba or vibraphone – percussive, flighty, upper middle register music.

The piano, after being completely silent for the first section of the piece, initiates its solo section with intense, low register, fortisissimo music marked ruvido. Unpitched percussion has an important role here, forming, at times, a duo with the piano. During the course of the piano solo, lyrical music featuring a chorale-like texture (still in the prevailingly fast tempo), is sandwiched between the initial ruvido section and the even more aggressive music which follows, now marked agitato.

This foreshadowing of slow music prepares for an extensive violin solo in a genuinely slow tempo, a solo at first unaccompanied, then counterpointed by other members of the ensemble. An accelerating ascent to the uppermost register leads to a piccolo solo marked glittery and skittish.

The considerable momentum generated during this rapid-fire section is then somewhat dissipated by a cello solo, the slowest and most expressive music of the piece. But this solo is too short and soon yields to the return of fast and sharply aggressive music, now dominated by the bass clarinet – the most continuous music of the piece. After a substantial climax, the intensively on-going rhetoric seems to explode (it’s as if the music has been blown to fragments). Implicit Memory ends quietly (and in a rather unresolved way) with a few of these fragments being sustained and counterpointed with each other.

--Ross Bauer

Commissioned by the Barlow Foundation for the New York New Music Ensemble.

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