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A Still Point
00:00 / 02:35

violin and piano


[Program Note, February 2017]

A Still Point takes its title from a passage in the first of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets:

     At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

     Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,

     But neither arrest nor movement….

     … Except for the point, the still point,

     There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

This image takes musical form as a palindrome, more or less, centered around the so-called golden ratio, an irrational yet wondrously simple proportion found in the natural world. The violin traces a ponderous path through an open space, made resonant by the piano’s sympathetic support. Time is paced by periodic “golden” outbursts, such that the piece hovers between “arrest” and “movement,” evoking an afterimage which dances with Eliot’s singular meditation.

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