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I Saw in the Night Visions

Performed by Eman Chalshotori (violoncello)

Instrumentation: Solo violoncello

Duration: ca. 4 minutes 15 seconds

Year composed: 2015

Place composed: Kansas City, Missouri

Dedication: Composed for Eman Chalshotori

Program Notes: I Saw in the Night Visions uses cello techniques such as variations of sul tasto (playing near the fingerboard) and sul ponticello (playing near the bridge), as well as many different types of harmonics (playing an overtone rather than a normal note) to create the surreal atmosphere of a dream or trance-like vision. The piece begins with a melody played with normal technique, representing a person awake; harmonics are gradually introduced, representing the person falling asleep or into a trance, and eventually take over fully. The original melody goes through many transformations as the journey through the vision progresses. The vision becomes more and more intense, until the cello breaks out into running sixteenth notes played with normal technique (modified by tasto and ponticello), as the dream takes on a lifelike vividness and becomes more of a nightmare. The sixteenth notes end with the original melodic idea played frantically in the cello’s highest register. After a long tremolo that fades to silence, the original melody returns in several forms, before two quiet harmonic trills end the piece. I Saw in the Night Visions was composed for Eman Chalshotori, who premiered the piece in Kansas City, Missouri on February 2, 2016.