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“The piece Runaround is composed for instrumental groups which are dispersed throughout the entire concert hall. Four brass soloists play from the stage, with the percussionist being placed behind them, accompanied by the five more instrumental groups – each consisting of a woodwind and a string player – situated around the audience. The piece could be described as a kind of rhapsody where the soloists are brought into various contexts with the accompanying groups.
In the beginning of the piece the soloists are exposed one by one and subsequently exchange short figures with the groups around the audience, creating vortex-like moments. After a brief intermezzo by ensemble the soloists introduce a section based almost entirely on natural harmonics. Overtone glissandos by brass are performed in various speed ratios, confronted with the imitation of same structures played time-stretched by the ensemble which subsequently make a smooth transition to the following section, build on pointillistic principles. The four soloists basically merge into a single four-lipped player, performing a mosaic-like structured interweaving of multiple staccato lines. Suddenly the listener is thrown onto a different planet with a delusive fairy tale environment. Out of nowhere sounds of duduk and shakuhachi emerge. The interaction between the soloists and ensemble seems to be transformed into a slowly pulsating atmosphere. That intransparent liquid surface becomes clear after the groups start sharing pendulum-like impulses which make a transition to the finale. A walking bass suggests the upcoming contact between the existing and unexpected. The soloists seem to play jazz on their mouthpieces only, accompanied by a space consisting of harmonic impulses by the instrumental groups. Occasionally that flow is interrupted by strings playing structures which sound like fragments of a “fin-de-siècle”-like viennese waltz. After a dense culmination there follows a cut whereupon only a soft walking bass and the buzzing lips of the soloists are audible. And why does the piece end like that?
Once I heard the brass quartet of Ensemble Modern recording the variations on “Let’s call this” arranged by one of their trumpet players, Valentin Garvie. Their improvisation abilities made a great impression on me and I decided to melt their creative skills with my compositional structures. Over the walking bass I wrote four lines of rhythmic material for playing on mouthpieces only and drew approximate pitch contours in order to leave room for interpretation to the brass players. The element of walking bass remains active until the end of the piece and varies form the double bass original over the lowest trumpet register to the tutti of low instruments. In order to achieve a pulsating musical form I decided to interrupt the walking bass flow occasionally. Therefor I was looking for a contrasting rhythmical element which has a strong historical reference. In one of my previous pieces I composed a kind of a “broken waltz” and in Runaround it seemed appropriate for me to insert the waltz gesture in order to break the repetitive rhythmic structure of a walking bass.”

(Vito Zuraj)

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