Immersed in Liminality

Programme Notes

Immersed in Liminality is a captivating musical journey that delves into the complex state of liminality, characterized by ambiguity and disorientation. Drawing inspiration from anthropological and cultural traditions, the piece explores the uncharted territory between two definitive stages of a rite of passage, where participants are no longer in their pre-ritual status but have yet to assume their new identity.

The music opens with a sudden, accented “alarm" that sets the tone for the liminal state. As the piece progresses, intricate and articulated notes and motifs paint a vivid picture of the animated and curious feelings associated with the state of liminality. The octatonic harmonic context creates a sense of restlessness and uncertainty, further emphasizing the theme of transition.

The second section, “Fantasia," takes the listener on a mesmerizing journey of illusion and fluidity. The use of whole-tone and pentatonic scales create a dream-like state, perfectly capturing the sense of disorientation and unknown that often accompanies the liminal state. The trembling transition from the previous section only adds to the mysterious and awe-inspiring atmosphere.

As the piece progresses, a metric modulation leads to the third section, combining harmonic idioms and rhythmic motifs from previous sections. This creates a powerful and symbolic representation of the combination of two states. Polymodality and polyrhythm add to the depth and complexity of the piece, representing the liminal state in all its ambiguity.

The movement concludes with a calm and relatively quiet final section, where the widely-used harmonics provide a contrasting ending to the piece. The tranquility of this section stands in stark contrast to the rest of the piece, highlighting the sense of closure and resolution that accompanies the end of the liminal state.

Year of Composition:

5 minutes 30 seconds

2 violins, viola and cello

29 March 2022 (Tue)
Carole Nash Recital Hall, RNCM

Piatti String Quartet