My Hands Are Empty

quintet for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and percussion, 2011

My Hands Are Empty draws a sonic analogy to the binary principles of kinetic and potential energy. A sense of musical energy can be traced over the course of the entire piece, shifting between the different instruments, between sound and silence, and between busy, flickering surface textures and more grounded—yet still active—sustains. As the music progresses, the ensemble generally pushes higher in register. Important arrival points in this ascent are marked by particularly dense bursts of activity. The final section of the piece recalls, in miniature, the entire work—especially the shift from low to high.

Slee Sinfonietta
Daniel Bassin, conductor

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