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I. with great frustration - score preview
II. delicately - score preview
III. effortlessly - score preview
IV. with great urgency - score preview
This work was originally conceived as four independent intermezzi for violin and accordion duo that could be performed in any order. However, during the writing of the piece, the structural and emotional progression mandated a specific order for the movements.
Each brief movement explores a different emotional state and set of timbres. The first movement is edgy and nervous in character featuring a great deal of counterpoint between the instruments. The accordion uses its full set of reeds for a rich, full sound. The second movement stands in stark contrast. It is very delicate in nature and explores the upper extremes of each instruments’ respective range as well as a narrow and relatively quiet dynamic range. Adding to the quiet, intimate nature of the movement is the use of artificial harmonics in the violin and the exclusive use of the highest set of reeds in the accordion (piccolo setting). The third movement is very free and features the accordion as soloist and the violin as accompanist. It makes extensive use of pizzicato in a quasi-guitar style in the violin and a limited number of reeds in the accordion (musette setting). The final movement is the shortest of the four and borrows elements from the first and third movements. It brings back a melodic fragment first heard in the opening movement and also features the use of multi-metered rhythms as found in the third movement. The accordion returns to the full set of reeds giving the movement a full, rich timbre. Though moving in a fast tempo similar in nature to the first movement, the fourth movement features much less counterpoint and more unison rhythms.
Guts n’ Bellows is dedicated to Nashville based violinist, David Davidson, who suggested I write a piece for him and a friend.