Gloria Justen | Sonaquifer: Music for Solo Viola

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Sonaquifer: Music for Solo Viola

by Gloria Justen

Rhapsodic, evocative melodies alternate with compelling rhythms, expressive harmonies and a variety of musical textures.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sonaquifer Suite for Solo Viola: I. Reverie
7:00 $1.70
2. Sonaquifer Suite for Solo Viola: II. Zhigue
6:03 $1.70
3. Sonaquifer Suite for Solo Viola: III. Memory's Release
9:02 $1.70
4. Sonaquifer Suite for Solo Viola: IV. Flowing-Turning Dance
7:19 $1.70
5. Reflections on the Waves of a Brook (For Baritone Viola)
8:14 $1.70
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Physical Albums will be released on January 21, 2018
“Son-aquifer” is a reservoir of musical ideas in the collective consciousness, resonating through space and time.
The music that became Sonaquifer Suite was originally commissioned by cellist Hannah Addario-Berry as part of her project Scordatura, and the piece is dedicated to her. The project celebrated the 100th anniversary of Zoltán Kodály's Sonata for Solo Cello. The section I wrote for Hannah initially was the Flowing-Turning Dance. Kodály's Sonata calls for an unusual tuning: A-D-F#-B, from highest to lowest string, and Hannah requested that the new piece for her utilize the same tuning. By lowering the G and C strings to F# and B, a different resonance is created, and many new possibilities for chords and harmonics appear - ones which are impossible to play with normal tuning. I became fascinated with the possibilities of this tuning and the piece grew into a suite of four movements that can be played on either viola or cello. Scores are published in both versions.

Sonaquifer is a word I invented by combining sonus (Latin for sound) with aqui-fer (Latin for water-carrying) to represent a reservoir of sonic ideas. This Son-aquifer reverberates with musical ideas from all times and places; they exist in a kind of musical Collective Unconscious. I have reached into this archetypal sonic spring and pulled out phrases, chords, rhythms, and patterns. These elements echo music from the past that I know and love. In addition to the influence of Mr. Kodály, I am also indebted for inspiration to my musical grandfather Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music has opened a very deep well of musical possibilities to many generations.

The title of the last track, Reflections on the Waves of a Brook, is translated into German as Reflexionen auf den Wellen eines Baches. This name evokes a peaceful water scene as well as making a playful reference to Mr. Bach’s continuing influence on concepts of musical beauty. The piece is dedicated to my father Wolfgang Justen, who played classical guitar very beautifully when I was growing up. The pizzicato sections are
reminiscent of his expressive guitar sounds.

Recorded November 2017 in San Rafael, California.
Recording Engineer: David Bowles
Audio Editing: Gloria Justen
Mixing & Mastering Engineer: Gary Hobish
Cover photos; Greg Habiby
Cover design: Gloria Justen

The instrument used to record Sonaquifer Suite was a five-stinged viola tuned E-A-D-F#-B (from highest to lowest string), and for Reflections on the Waves of a Brook I played a viola tuned E-A-D-G, one fourth below a regular viola. The pieces can also be played on conventional instruments.



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