Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal, Hamburg
Avi Avital, mandolin / Kremerata Baltica
The Three Sisters have journeyed with me far and wide across New York State. The work began at an artist retreat in upstate New York. Alone in a studio in the middle of the woods, dwarfed by a sea of 100-feet pine trees that masked the daylight and harbored the night’s creatures, and situated on an estate littered with haunting stories of ghostly visitations, the music that emerged was itself haunting and ghostly. And so I fled back home. Saving just a few fragments from my curtailed residence upstate, I continued the work at my home studio in Brooklyn, but soon after returning had to move unexpectedly. On the move once more, my sisters in tow, I arrived at my final destination: The work was completed in a tiny apartment a little further away from the lights of Manhattan, but which offered something far more beautiful—a rooftop with an unobstructed view of the night sky, decorated with a scattering of jewels on a clear night. And it is the constellation Orion that stares down upon me night after night—the three stars of his belt, the three sisters, shining bright. And so this work of three portraits unfolded, each portrait sharing the same DNA in varying guises.
In addition to my varying whereabouts, the main source of inspiration throughout this journey has been Avi Avital’s incredible dexterity and virtuosity, coupled with the tenderness that he brings to the most delicate and sparse of musics. It is a great honor to have been awarded the 2016 Hindemith Prize, and to be given this opportunity to compose music for such incredible and inspiring musicians.