Luke Carlson: Water Words (2014)

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Luke Carlson's WATER WORDS for string trio

When asked if I’d be interested in contributing a set of miniatures for Chartreuse’s “Water Cycle,” I was immediately drawn to the idea of finding excerpts of text that could serve as inspiration for each section of the piece. What I decided upon were brief phrases from the Bible. Each phrase evokes a differing aspect of water, from mysterious darkness to light-hearted drops of rain.

The piece opens with the text, “darkness was upon the face of the deep,” which comes from the creation account in Genesis. This is followed by, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The imagery of the Spirit reminded me of the ancient hymn tune, “Veni Creator Spiritus” (Come Creator Spirit). I chose to utilize fragments of the melody here and there, tying the movements together with a cohesive, musical thread.

The music is intended to portray the text in a clear and understandable way. I do not wish to impose my own vision of how the musical material relates to the imagery of the text—I leave it to you, the listener, to discover your own images and meanings. The movements are played without pause and the trio is approximately five and a half minutes long.

Luke Carlson, 2015

credits

from on water, released July 8, 2016
Composer: Luke Carlson
Recording engineer: Tristan Gordon
Mastering engineer: Eric Xu

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Chartreuse San Francisco, California

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