> (Russian word for ?wick? and pronounced ?fee-TEElle?) for orchestra was written in December 2001 and has no explicit program. In the past few years, I have been writing and arranging a lot of music for various stringed instrument ensembles. At the same time, I have also become involved with many improvising and flexible musicians, while also coming in contact with the music and ideas of Morton Feldman.
In music composition, there is a general understanding that if you?re going to write for orchestra, then you must use it completely ? i.e. everyone should be playing most of the time. (Feldman mastered this in his ?For Samuel Beckett? and ?Coptic Light?.) In theatre, opera, ballet and musicals, the tradition is different: most of the material is comprised of duos or trios, while a large production number / chorus is generally placed at the end of an act. Even though there are many people involved in the production, not all of them are in the same scene.
In writing >, I wanted to take a theatrical approach towards my palette. A lot of time is given to the flutes, the percussion and celesta; the trombone only plays one note, five times; and for the bulk of the composition, the strings act as a ?captive audience?.
Note to the Percussionists: Because of the vast array of the percussion instruments currently available around the world, and their limited local availability, I have made the choice of instruments open. Please feel free to use any instruments you love ? traditional percussion, pots & pans, gamelans, gongs, and even sampled electronic percussion ? anything is fair game.