Hemistichs for six solo strings. 8' (2008)
Hemistichs are half-lines of poetic verse, usually appearing in pairs divided by a caesura. In Greek drama, hemistichs often signify sharp argument. In Virgil’s Aenid, they express profound physical or emotional disturbance. Hemistichs is, as its name implies, a composition of pairs; virtually every major musical aspect that appears must appear again, restated “in different words”, as in many of the verses in the Psalms of David. These “half-lines”, whether formal, gestural, harmonic, etc., are not always stated explicitly, but often operate in subtle structural capacities.
“I am confident your Lordship is by this time of my Opinion; and that you will look on those half lines hereafter, as the imperfect products of a hasty Muse: Like the Frogs and Serpents in the Nile; part of them kindled into Life; and part a lump of unform’d unanimated Mudd….”
– John Dryden, Dedication to the Aeneid, 1697
Hemistichs was written for Richard Worn and the Worn Chamber Ensemble.
video w/ score. Ensemble: the Worn Chamber Ensemble