Composition Department

Double Black Diamond (2005, rev. 2007)

IU New Music Ensemble; David Dzubay, conductor

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Commissioned by the Utah Arts Festival

First Prize in the 2007 Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival/ Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition

DURATION: 11 minutes

INSTRUMENTATION: 1*11*1/1111/2pc,pn,synth/strings (single or multiple)

PERUSAL SCORE (web viewing only; order hard copies from Pro Nova Music)


Asked to write a celebratory opening work for chamber orchestra for the Utah Arts Festival, I decided to write a piece called "Double Black Diamond," after the rating for very challenging ski runs.  Opening with icy, wintry sounds, the work has three large sections, the first of which is a hazy dream of what lies ahead, with alternating slow and fast tempos, all a bit blurry and out of focus. The middle section evokes the rather mechanical climb up the mountain in a chairlift, with a constantly ascending harmonic progression.  The last third of the piece reflects a thrilling ride downhill, with sharp turns, surprises, air-time, one lost ski and perhaps a few bumps along the way.  Of course, I felt it important to research this work, so I spent a weekend in March of 2005 skiing near Salt Lake City, at Snowbird and Solitude. In 2007, I made a few revisions and added parts for tuba and synthesizer, in preparation for an East Coast Tour with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.
- David Dzubay

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