|MUSIC OF A LIFE SO
FAR... Liner Notes
GARY KULESHA (b.1954)
- and dark time flowed by her like a river... 1993
Gary's music is always challenging but with its central emotional stimulus
accessible and very recognisable. A native Torontonia, he is rapidly becoming
one of the most influential figures in the field of Canadian composition.
Although principally a composer - his works have been commissioned and
performed all over the world - he is active also as a conductor, premiering
hundreds of works in his guest appearances with orchestras across Canada.
I first heard ...and dark time... in the version for violin (there's a
viola one too) and was caught by the unusual feel of the writing. Gary
has found a language that is obviously contemporary and yet has an approachability
one might not expect from this idiom. The title of the work is taken from
the novel The Web and the Rock by Thomas Wolfe, which represents a thinly
disguised autobiographical account of Wolfe's early adulthood. This particular
line is from a passage in which he describes his central character's sudden
deep recognition of the loss of each precious moment of time - the universal
experience of youth's passing. Suggestive more of a mood than a story
the music is expressive and rather dark, reflecting the alternation of
passion and despair that most sentient young people must endure.
The piece is constructed in four sections that flow into each other without
interruption. The language of the work flows between two polarities: the
atonal and the tonal. The atonal passages underline the ardor and hopelessness
of the work (the precise use of quarter tones strikes me as peculiarly
engaging) while the tonal centres tend to reflect a more moderate point
Perhaps it is appropriate that I should be struck at this point in my
life by a work inspired by the effects of time...