By: Eric Adamshick
Commissioned by Joseph Guimaraes
Distant Contours is an exploration of the literal and abstract ideas of contour and shape in music. The piano and the tuba explore their own individual contours and shapes as they traverse their parts, and eventually discover each other as they build towards the ultimate peak they intend to climb. When writing this piece I was particularly struck by the idea of climbing a mountain, and the idea that once you put in the work and reach the peak of such an intense, physical journey, what you are rewarded with is a view of the very thing you just conquered. Essentially, the goal of a hike is to see other mountains in the distance. This is reflected in the piano gestures at the very beginning and towards the end of the piece. I invite you to listen for the gestural narrative as well as the specific moments of tension and release. I discussed these images extensively with Joseph when writing Distant Contours, and invite any player to add their own expressive ideas to the work.