Resonant, virtuosic, relentless

Amethyst Fire

for solo viola scordatura

Amethyst Fire captures the otherworldly resonance of the viola when tuned with two Cs and two Gs. The work is freely composed and explores this tuning in a variety of musical scenarios, ranging from contemplative tranquility to roaring, explosive activity. 

These scenarios reminded me of fire and its many different aspects, from peaceful, mesmerizing flames smoldering in a hearth to wild, whipping blazes in nature. The symbolic color of the viola – purple – is captured musically in amethyst-like quality through jagged leaps and powerful, steady grooves, making use of this resonant and crystalline tuning.