Every time I play Silent Moon by composer Augusta Read Thomas, I am transfixed by the beauty and passion of her music.
Augusta Read Thomas is the sort of composer whose music sounds fresh and spontaneous. It is like experiencing the formation of a human emotion. This Chicago-based composer has earned herself a lucrative career with commissions from major symphonies and ensembles worldwide for her holistic and intuitive approach to sound.
Silent Moon is a duet for violin and viola commissioned by Almita and Roland Vamos. The dedication to their relationship paired with the quote “when twofold silence was the song of love” suggests that the music explores deeply emotional and complex parts of a relationship.
The simple form ebbs and flows with complicated gestures. One moment will seem sincere and gushing with praise while the next moment erupts into harsh and vicious remarks, almost like an argument. Soon bell-like chords wash away the aggressive feelings from before. The final portion is inspired by Gregorian chant and wraps up the piece with a soulful and exposed song.
Listening to Augusta Read Thomas is often an intense but rewarding experience. You can practically see her music as well as you can hear it. Somehow her music is very unique but familiar. It is something that almost everyone can relate too. Enjoy!