Visions of a Vaunting Voyage

December 12, 2019
Adam Cole

Visions of a Vaunting Voyage is an exploration of how the same experience can manifest in the minds of different people that experience the same event. The theme takes on a distant, longing feeling, and each variation is an embodiment of the mindset of a person who experienced the same event, but from a different perspective.

The techniques used by this piece are really not well represented by virtual instruments, so I am actively seeking a performance (and live premiere) of this work.

Variation 1 is quieter than the theme, played entirely with the pizzicato technique. The combination of the quiet scratching shown in the first violin, combined with the creeping figure in the middle voices and the wide-stepping cello bass-line create a distinct sneaky-sounding character.

Variation 2 is brighter and a bit louder than the theme. It is played entirely in the lydian mode which creates a second leading tone within the chord structure. This, combined with the compound duple time signature creates a brilliant rolling feeling that is still very true to the theme, but in a completely different mood.

Variation 3 is strikingly different than anything yet played. It has shocking changes in dynamics and technique, which represent a treacherous, stabbing feeling brought by use of the locrian mode and rapid striking notes followed by an immediate dropping of dynamic.

The fourth and final variation builds on the tension built by the previous variation. This variation implements several extended techniques, employing a distorted, quasi-guitar sound. The cello has a hard, driving adaptation of the theme while the first violin adapts a more literal version of the original theme, presented in the starting key.

The theme and the four variations make up five separate movements altogether.
Scored for standard string quartet instrumentation: Violins 1 and 2, Viola, and Cello.

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