Local Colloquies (2013) by Mark Winges
for clarinet, violin, viola, and cello
World premiere; Earplay commission

Local Colloquies explores two ways that musical material can unfold. The first movement is improvisatory in nature. Harmony and melodic motives recur, but their placement in the flow is unpredictable and not tied to a formal pattern. The Leftover Ephemera of Past Seasons is introductory in nature and maintains a single mood (marked "delicately emphatic" in the score) throughout. The multi-sectional More Orange Than Triangular is more rigorous in that the music heard in the first section generates much of the material for the entire movement. Also, since both opening and closing sections contain fast, rhythmic music, there is a greater sense of closure in this movement.

In addition to (or maybe despite) these underpinnings, it’s the musical surface that draws in a listener. Past Seasons is not only the memories of last fall, last summer, but also the past musical seasons of Earplay’s wonderful sounds and colors that have stuck with me. Those colors and committed, brilliant playing remain, even though some of the formal aspects of specific pieces fade. Hence my own memories are probably More Orange Than Triangular.

— M. W.    

[from program for March 31, 2014 concert]