Every Branch Of Coral
Will Hold Up The Moon
for solo viola (amplified)
The work is based on a response to the kōan riddle ‘What is the sharpest sword (or the sword which will cut even the finest piece of hair in two)?'. The answer that every branch of coral holds up the moon shows that the sword, which represents wisdom (wisdom that sees truth everywhere in everything), is found in the moments that connect us to the present time, such as perceiving the moon’s reflection on the sea coral, and conversely, the coral’s reflection on the moon.
I approached this work, written for violist Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, with reference to coral holding the moon through ideas of touch and mediation. I imagined the shade, shapes, density, and the colour of the coral and the moon filtered through the ocean. I decided to place the title of the piece in the future (the coral will hold) as, musically speaking, Aleksandra navigates through and around every branch of coral, and it’s connection to the moon, throughout the piece.
violist Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska
08/07/22 Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, Warsaw Botanic Gardens
WP: 28/05/22 Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, 51st Contemporary Music Spring Festival Poznań Poland
Photo by B. Seifert