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Text by Meredith Herndon
Written for and premiered by Quince Ensemble as part of the Taproot New Music Festival 2020.
"Portrait" explores concepts, such as love, loneliness, anger, and emptiness, all of which I consider very similar as they require some sort of profound fulfillment. While each section of the text focuses on, roughly, one concept, in its entirety, I view it as a complex portrait of a human. In this work, each of the four voices dominate one section of the poem; hence singers interchange the role of soloist. The accompanying voices integrate the sound and meaning of the text through word-painting and, at times, emulating the timbre of the voice of the soloist. The overlap of the concepts across the sections allows for re-layering of the lines that result in changes in the meaning of the text and different dramatic interactions between the solo and accompaniment parts. The inherent homogeneity and contrasts in the timbre of the voices of Quince Ensemble members became the primary inspiration and impetus for creating a visceral drama influenced by the renaissance madrigal style.
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