Equipoise

The title Equipoise refers to the sense of balance that is the central idea throughout both movements of this work. In the first movement, the performers pass a sustained melodic line back and forth, often overlapping with the other’s material. The percussionist employs a cello bow in the performance of this sustained melodic material and punctuates the texture with traditional mallet technique. In the second movement, a rhythmically active figure repeats underneath a contrasting melodic line. Initially the rhythmic figure is presented by the vibraphone and the flute carries the sustained melodic line, but the performers soon exchange this material. The middle section relies on a hocket-like texture and moves from the largely diatonic harmonic language of the opening section into more chromatic language in this middle section. As the texture builds toward the return of the opening material, the performers begin to come together and in the final section of the piece both performers present a combination of both the rhythmic figuration and the melodic line simultaneously.