Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra; Peter Askim, Conductor
The title of the work, “Moving, Still”, has multiple meanings. The piece is about the tension between motion and stasis, and it is also about the persistence of motion (still moving….) There is a restless, insistent sense of activity and rhythmic drive that pervades the entire work, with the exception of the fourth section, where time seems to cease.
The wave-like undulations of the opening are punctuated by slowly unfolding melodic fragments that form the melodic material for the whole piece. The fragments gain momentum, superimposed over a constantly pulsing, shifting texture. The intensity of the rhythmic drive dissipates as the section descends into a brief moment of respite.The calm is shattered by two very brief, but emotionally intense, headlong rhythmic episodes. Any sense of stillness is swept aside as the music climbs ever higher in a frenzy of activity.
The fourth section, in contrast, has the feeling of time standing still. There are distant underlying echoes of the agitation that both precedes and follows this temporary stasis. The stillness gradually gathers momentum as lyrical descending melodic lines are pitted against rising, restless lines in the lower voices.
The final section returns to the insistent, undulating pulsations of the work’s opening, but now with a triumphant, ebullient character. The work ends with a final, headlong rush to a series of insistent, explosive rhythmic statements, concluding the work.
Moving, Still contains the tension between outward, frenzied activity and an inward-looking striving for peace. It is at once exciting and calm, anxiety-ridden and triumphant, urgent and timeless.