Up Close and from a Distance (2014)

for flute, Bb clarinet, violin, viola, & cello

ca. 6'

 

 

 

 

 

PROGRAM NOTE

 

This piece takes its inspiration from the Ghanaian-born, Nigerian-based artist El Anatsui’s installation, Hovor II (2004).  The work is an enormous glistening wall-sized tapestry created by stringing together old liquor tops. As I sat in the de Young Museum admiring it, I noticed that others (as did I) would come close to examine the incredible detail, and then back away to look at it from afar. Hence the title – in my response to the work, I have tried to capture my own viewing experience. Up close, I am engrossed in the numerous liquor tops strewn together by twisted wire, some gnarled and bent, some golden, some striped. Though I admire the details, I think the piece is most powerful from afar, where its sheer scale and presence is truly felt, and I am mesmerized by its brilliant glow.

Up Close and from a Distance was commissioned by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in collaboration with the de Young Museum with support from the San Francisco Arts Cultural Equity Grants Program. It has been a joy and a privilege working with the musicians of the ensemble. (RS)

© 2012-2019 Ryan Suleiman

 

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