Jules Pegram REFRACTION

REFRACTION (2012)

Clarinet, Violin, 'Cello, Piano
Duration: 17 minutes

I. Insomnia
​II. Lullaby
​III. Awakening


Recording

PROGRAM NOTE

REFRACTION marks my longest compositional endeavor to date, and perhaps my most serious and introspective. The work is scored for clarinet, violin, ‘cello, and piano.

I.“Insomnia” opens with a manic exclamation of a dissonant six-note cell, from which nearly all of the ensuing material is derived. Predominately situated in an atonal context, the music here is furious, hard-driving, and relentless. A sense of anxiety pervades, pushing us forward full-throttle until an explosive conclusion drives us off the cliff.

II.“Lullaby” is crafted as a stark contrast to “Insomnia.” Here, the music is comparatively simple and placid, with a lulling melody supported by mellow harmonic progressions. Solos account for a bulk of the music here, with a special focus on the lyrical, sonorous qualities of the cello, in all its registers. By movement’s close we drift off to a restful sleep, our musical pulse rates having finally calmed down.

III.“Awakening” begins with animated, plucked strings and jagged rhythms, leading very quickly to the main theme, a Cuban montuno groove that recurs throughout the movement in a variety of guises. This is perhaps the most optimistic of the three movements, striding confidently along with abundant energy and a carefree spirit.

 

—Jules Pegram (2012)