Program Note

Postcard was commissioned with the unique condition that it must consist of one hundred notes or fewer. This intriguing limitation prompted me to ponder, “What defines a note?”, realizing that it is merely a symbol on the score and not a singular sound. Embracing this creative challenge, I purposefully employ loops, repeats, and aleatoric devices, granting the performers the freedom to choose how long they linger within each section. By doing so, the chosen hundred notes are given room to breathe, prolonging their existence and bestowing a slightly longer life upon them. As a result, the duration of the piece can vary between three to seven minutes, contingent upon the performers’ choices within these loops.

The title “Postcard” captures three significant aspects of the composition. Firstly, it reflects the unpretentious dimensions and character of the work, akin to a postcard rather than a lengthy novel. Secondly, the separation of instruments on the stage or hall embodies the necessary distance between the sender and the receiver, evoking the imagery of a postcard’s journey.

Lastly, both the image and message of the postcard find musical representation in the composition. I approach the images through the presentation of static clarinet multiphonics in their unadorned form. The violin subtly reinforces certain aspects of the clarinet’s timbre. On the other hand, the messages are conveyed through more melodic manipulations of the clarinet’s timbre, performed in a cantabile fashion by both instruments. The composition features three distinct images and three corresponding messages, creating an evocative musical postcard with its own unique and intimate narrative.

— Felipe Lara


About Felipe Lara

Felipe Lara (b.1979) is hailed as a gifted Brazilian-American modernist by the New York Times, with his works being described as sensational, exuberant, vivid, brilliantly realized, excellent, technically formidable, wildly…