Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

“Unveiling” Premiered by North/South Consonance in New York City

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On June 7 North/South Consonance under the direction of Max Lifchitz premiered my work for string orchestra entitled “Unveiling”. The concert took place in the Christ and St. Stephen’s Church and featured three other contemporary American composers.

I finished writing “Unveiling” exactly a year ago, and this realization causes me to reflect on how much work, diligence, and patience a composer must possess before he/she sees any fruit of their labor. In a sense, I view my compositions as my children. I do not abandon them at birth, but care for them, promote them, and believe in them. I know what they can become even when they are mere scribbles on staff paper or awkward MIDI (computer) demo renditions. When the time is right, the score lands in the hands of the conductor, the parts are distributed to the players, and only then the work can reach its full maturity. As I listened to the orchestra play “Unveiling”, I felt that my music lived and breathed independently of me and that it became even more than I envisioned, all on its own.

“Unveiling” is an exploration of layers of sounds. Beginning with one solitary note, new aural strata gradually unfold in which multiple layers of counterpoint constantly shift, weave, and intersect until the tension is finally broken in an unveiling of a tender and fleeting soundscape featuring a love duet between cello and violin. The closing section is a reversal of the opening in which the layers of sound gradually recede until only the opening solitary note remains. In this work I return to my Polish heritage and the listener is likely to hear echoes of string writing of such composers as Grażyna Bacewicz, Romuald Twardowski, or Henryk Górecki.
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In the photo Max Lifchitz and I after the concert.

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