“Nivāhayati,” for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello, and double bass.
“Nivāhayati” is a collage of notes, fragments, gestures, and phrases. Its structure explores buildup, growth, and decay, imitating both human form and nature.
The word “nivāhayati” is taken from Sanskrit and means “set to motion.” The piece is probably my most complex instrumental work, with ten solo parts interacting with one another. The work attempts to capture the experience of time as I interpret it, highlighting its dualities: activity versus pause; history versus present; linearity versus cycle; and cause versus effect.
The also piece focuses on my interest in human dynamics. While writing it, I sometimes pictured a party scene in which the musicians converse with one another, sometimes arguing, sometimes finishing each other’s sentences. I imitate vocal inflections using glissandi and blue notes. With the range of timbres available, I investigate the personalities of each instrument and imagine how, if each were a person, they would interact with one another.
I wrote this piece between August and November, 2014. The score can be viewed at issuu.com/elliottgrabill. If you are an ensemble interested in performing this work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.