Matt Van  Brink - composer, pianist, lyricist, educator

Initial Ascent (2006)

or two pianos | 8 mins.

INSTRUMENTATION (orchestra version)
picc2222, 433(bass)1, timp, 1perc, harp, strings

If one throws an object straight up into the air, it naturally starts out with a certain speed. Immediately, though, gravity pulls on the object and slows it down. Eventually it will stop rising and fall back to the earth, but for a calculus of a moment, at the precise end of its initial ascent, there is no motion at all. The object hangs frozen in the air — an infinitely short instant at zero velocity... Anstieg: In Schenkerian analysis, a term to describe the initial ascent to a tone of the tonic -- the Kopfton -- from which descent of the Urlinie begins... A lungful of air, a heavy cloud not yet unloading, snapshots of potential energy... Music swallowed on its way up.

First performed by Stephanie Ho & Saar Ahuvia
11 December 2008, Aaron Copland School of Music, New York