The violin carries with it a great and long tradition of public performance, and from this tradition has come a worldwide familiarity with the sound of the instrument being played. But there is a separate, lesser known aspect of violin performance, what might be called “everything but the sound that is played,” or perhaps, “the sound of the violin not being played.”
Niloiv explores a traditional and familiar sound in a nontraditional way. There are two important sonic elements in the first part: a squeezing, twisting sound, and a pounding, knocking sound. In our daily life, our ears are continually activated by sound. Very often we hear these, but without listening to them. In Niloiv, a familiar sound presenting in a way that we are not usually associated with it.
This piece is dedicated to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
This piece has three sections, each of them conveying a similar idea. In the first section, the names of the victims of the shooting are floating in the air. The second section’s lyric is based on the poem “Cradle Song”, a lullaby by the dramatist Thomas Dekker in the 17th century. Though 400 years old, the poem may seem familiar from its use in a song by the Beatles. The last section is a traditional Taiwanese Lullaby, depicting a mother swinging her baby to sleep.
To Heaven is constructed live with real-time processed sound. The only pre-recorded sounds are the names from the Sandy Hook tragedy.