Anna Weesner’s What Gathers What Lingers was selected for ISCM 2020 World New Music Days in New Zealand. The Roger Shapiro Fund commissioned Anna Weesner’s My Mother in Love, which won the Virgil Thomson Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
What Gathers, What Lingers (2003)
Instrumentation: violin, piano
Duration: 14 minutes
What gathers, what lingers was composed while I was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome during the spring of 2003; revisions were made in 2009. It was premiered in Rome by Veronica Kadlubkiewicz and Richard Trythall on May 26, 2003. The piece was helped along through conversations with my friend, composer/violinist Andy Waggoner. The piece dwells in a variety of places, moving, perhaps, through many different rooms of a single house. The world contains a multiplicity of musics, all of which surround and influence me, sometimes whether I know it or not. What happens, I wonder, when music that feels like a private memory of a classical piano sonata follows on the heels of something raucous and pounding? What happens when a thick and complex harmony finds itself as neighbor to a straightforward melody with a simple accompaniment? This piece occupies a sound-world in which many stylistic impulses gather, a world, I think, in which memory may be portrayed alongside the current moment. This piece has distinct sections, whose respective personalities are meant to stand in vivid, even stark, contrast. Played without pause, these sections occupy a single, overarching movement, gathering—I hope—connections and momentum, and leaving what lingers as they bounce off of each other and go.
ANNA WEESNER’S music has received many notable performances, including those by the American Composers Orchestra, Counter)induction, Sequitur, Open End, Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001, the Cypress Quartet, the Cassatt Quartet, Metamorphosen, Ensemble X, Dawn Upshaw, Gilbert Kalish, Richard Goode, Judith Kellock, Scott Kluksdahl, Caroline Stinson and Melia Watras. Weesner was awarded a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2008 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a 2003 Pew Fellowship. She has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.