On Friday, February 19th, I performed in a concert featuring Brian Ferneyhough’s music. The evening was part of the Wayward Music Series in Seattle, WA, and was the culmination of a week-long residency of Ferneyhough at the University of Washington. The concert also feature the music of Joel Durand and Mark Applebaum. I had the pleasure of performing a piece by each of the composers on the program that evening. The most rewarding moments for me as a performer came when I played Applebaum’s Entre Funerailles II for solo vibraphone. I found that this piece gave me a very special opportunity as a performer to be a soloist on stage, and yet fade a bit into the background of the consciousness of the audience.
Applebaum wrote the piece to be played as an interlude on a concert of Ferneyhough’s music. The very idea of this fascinated me immediately. I think of an interlude as being a break or a pause. Perhaps it is even a rest in whatever proceedings are taking place. I decided in my performance of the piece that I wanted to draw the audience in; to command their attention. However, I also wanted my performance to function distinctly and deliberately as a break and a rest amidst the other music of the evening. This seems to almost be a contradiction in some ways, but I felt that I was able to achieve this duality in my realization of the piece. It was a very special moment for me as a performer. I believe the fact that I was able to turn my intentions into reality is largely due to Applebaum’s skill as a composer, nevertheless I am proud of that performance and will remember it fondly.