selections from Viola spaces
Eight concert studies for viola by Garth Knox
Interpreters of classical music can study technical exercises (scales, arpeggios, finger exercises, etc.) confident in the knowledge that these patterns will be useful in playing classical pieces. Due to the extreme diversity of styles in new music today, it is now more often a case of constructing a new technique to reply to the demands of a new piece. There are however recurring techniques which can be studied, among these the so-called “extended techniques” (usually meaning classical techniques taken a little further). I had the idea to write a series of pieces which explore these techniques.
Each piece (or « space ») concentrates on one specific technique, and exists in a solo version, and in a duo or trio version, the other viola parts using the same techniques, but in a simpler way. In this way, a player can learn the technique on the simpler part, then progress to playing the solo part himself.
“Viola Spaces” is dedicated to Nobuko Imai and the team of the Viola Space festival in Tokyo.