Zoom and Zip (1997) for strings is based on an offbeat rhythm over which clearly outlined melodies are heard. The melodies are highlighted because their rhythm and the accompaniment complement one another. The accompaniment uses offbeats, and the melody mostly moves on the beat. The melodies are expressive and reminiscent of Slavonic nostalgia. Zoom and Zip does not directly quote anything, but like most of my pieces it draws on memories of having heard something as a child in Russia and this particular piece has some of the typical Russian harmonic and melodic twists, especially in its first half. The main idea behind the piece was this heavy and relentless motion which gives way to a kind of nostalgia and romance which should not really belong. I am interested in breaking harmonious situations and making things slightly unusual.
The title has to do with very small cells being augmented or reduced to the minimum and come from everyday computer language.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer