Julie Barwick (b. 1979)
Little Things was written in January 2014 for the Viola Project IX and for Tzu-Hsun Yu. The piece begins with fluttering (“little”) figures that morph into sustained notes, sometimes in frustration, and other times with longing, resignation, or determination. From these quick flutters, a hesitant, but sweeping, melodic line emerges, as if the “little things” have been immutably transformed. In the end, only the memory of the initial form is left.
Scientists have done studies demonstrating that butterflies do remember lessons learned from their lives before metamorphosis. Perhaps this is similar for the imaginary little winged creature I can’t help but imagine here.