Nicholas Politi - spoken softly in the eaves


spoken softly in the eaves (2018) reflects on Wallace Stevens's poem "The Beginning," from his 1950 collection "Auroras of Autumn." The poem's particularly gray feeling of solitude and emptiness is embodied in the music through a continuous textural haze, with a limited range of gestural ideas that constantly morph in and out of one another. A priority in writing the work along these lines was to explore the saxophone family's wide variety of technical possibilities regarding timbre. Stevens's solemnly vague indirectness of language is echoed musically in a microtonal language that intermixes harmonic spaces of chromatic pentachords and various quarter tone multiplicities of the same cells, exuding an ambiguity in the affect of its musical ideas while bounded by a formalistic structural narrative. This work was written for and premiered at the 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy.

Tuning information:

Quarter tone chromaticism based on cellular multiplicities (x0.5, 1.5 and 2.5) of chromatic pentachords.

Composer bio:

Nicholas Politi (b.1998) is a versatile musician currently pursuing studies in composition at Oberlin Conservatory, where he studies with Jesse Jones. Described as "sensuous, organic and powerful" by composer Wang Lu, Politi's music draws on roots in modernism and free jazz as well as a passionate interest in contemporary poetry. He has received honors in composition from organizations such as the National Association for Music Education, the ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Face the Music, MATA, American Composers Forum, Cortona Sessions for New Music and the National YoungArts Foundation, with works having been performed in such established venues as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and WQXR's Jerome L. Greene Space.