79 Fossil Gestures (of Antonio Alberto de Biedma)

Score title

79 Fossil Gestures (of Antonio Alberto de Biedma)


Libby Larsen

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Program note

Inspired by the chapter “The Age of Silence” from Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, 79 Fossil Gestures (of Antonio Alberto de Biedma) is a work for four hands (two pianos) in four sections. In section I, Arcs, the wrists, arms shoulders and back create arcs of motion which deliver touch, at the tips of the fingers, to the keys of the piano in fluid, soft gestures. The second short section, Repetend with dart gestures, is a high contrast to the first section, treating the fingers as power hammers, delivering repeated notes in rapid succession, punctuated by short, darting chords. …in His hands, is a barely audible arrangement of Obie Philpot’s “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” I treated the melody as if the pianists had barely enough strength to depress the keys of the piano – much like the sound coming from a computerized piano which has been set with the touch entirely too light to work well. You can barely make out the melody with your ears and so you must listen as carefully as you can to fill in the melody as it moves through the circle of fifths to complete a circle (the world). I wanted to create a metaphor for the fragility of life, faith and in our world. Finally, in section four, Fists and Fingers, the hands intertwine in rhythmic play and tandem unity in an exuberant romp.

— Libby Larsen