A new composition by Tod Machover, titled Resolve Remote, for violin and electronics, was just released as part of The Royal Academy of Music’s (RAM) 200 PIECES project, a grand commissioning project of 200 new compositions to celebrate the conservatory’s bicentennial. Resolve Remote is performed by violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones, for whom the piece was written, on commission from the Royal Academy of Music. Lovell-Jones premiered the piece at RAM in February 2022.
In his composer’s note, Machover writes, “Resolve Remote grew out of the COVID pandemic experience of isolation and uncertainty, and the resolve needed to simply keep going. The piece starts with a series of violin phrases that stop short with a kind of crunch sound before they can fully resonate or develop. Electronics – based on the violin sound and extensions of it – enter almost imperceptibly, both intensifying the cutoffs and extending the resonances. The violin returns over-and-over to anchor pitches in the midst of increased layering, eventually overpowering the swirling complexity to reach a kind of forced focus. At this point of uneasy stillness, the electronics become fused with the violin sound – as if pulled in by a magnetic force – while a sinuous melody develops from the lowest range to the highest, releasing tension along the way through a kind of soulful singing. The final section of Resolve Remote is played in the highest register of the violin, with sound twisting and twirling weightlessly as if earthly troubles had been left behind. Here the electronics extend violin ornaments and trills into delicate inharmonic textures, finally blending acoustic and electronic sound completely to establish the meditative, aspirational stability with which the piece ends.”
The new works in 200 PIECES were written by an eclectic collection of composers, and are being placed into the public domain. The initiative will culminate with an unparalleled free online resource for contemporary music featuring a score and recording by a student at the Academy, for each of the 200 pieces. Demonstrating the broad spectrum of compositional input into the project are pieces by: Sally Beamish, Alex Hawkins, Rubens Askenar, Roxanna Panufnik, Claudia Molitor, Philip Herbert, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Shruthi Rajasekar, Tod Machover, Felipe Lara and Laurence Crane.