Dr. Vera Ivanova, Composer
Vera Ivanova,

'...internationally recognized as an emerging artist of great talent.'

Campus Times (University of Rochester/Eastman)


for Saxophone, Percussion, and Tape (2001)

Program Notes:
FEATHER-WEIGHT was composed for London Contemporary Dance School at the
Place performances. The title of the piece reflects choreographer’s (Elisabetta d’Aloia)
idea of the balance between ‘light’ and ‘heavy’, which helps to define the weight of
objects, people, places, relationships…
The visual row operates with images and objects from our childhood, such as ‘light’
beach balls, which in the middle section become ‘heavy’ as stones. And as ‘light’ balls
turn to ‘heavy stones’, growing up we meet unexpectable challenges of adult life, get
older with our child’s dreams and hopes lost…
The musical idea corresponds to choreography in the following way: to deliver the idea
of child’s dreams I returned to my own music composed a few years ago to make a
contrast with present (middle section). Thus, first and last sections are based on few last
bars of second movement of Sonata for Violin and Piano. The compositional idea is to
start playback the piece from the last note adding every next phrase from the previous bar
and overlapping these material with transposed last single note. As a result we always
hear this last note (F sharp for violin) because musical development of each phrase
permanently leads us from and to this note. The idea of musical construction is based on
the psychology of memories, on a process of reconstructing the images of past.
The electro-acoustic score was created in Logic Audio Gold. During the performance
vibraphone, suspended cymbal and Alto Saxophone are performed by live musicians
provided with click track in their headphones (created in Logic), high amplification for
vibraphone and lower amplification for Saxophone as well as reverberation.
As the musical idea is about past, present and future, in the first section used Violin and
Piano with no special effects as a kind of ‘tape playbacks in a wrong direction’ plus
bowed vibraphone in live, which ‘pick up and extend’ notes played by Violin. The
middle section is mostly electro-acoustic with Alto Saxophone solo in live. The final
section returns to initial material when suddenly percussive sound from the middle
section interrupts the music.

alto saxophone, percussion (cymbals and vibraphone plus a bow) and tape
6 minutes, 32 seconds
March 19-22, 2001
Click here to contact composer about this piece.


March 20th, 2001
Featherweight, for Saxophone, Percussion, and Tape (2001)
London Contemporary Dance School at the Place (London, U.K.)