Conversations in Silence

Composed by Conni Ellisor
Length: 12:00
Instrumentation: String Orchestra
Category: Masterworks
Ensemble: String Orchestra
Audio sample

Notes from the composer:

One of my first commissions for the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, this piece embodies my belief that music can transcend the barrier between words and hearts.  Long before a thought assumes the concreteness of words and directives, it is an impulse- a quickening of the pulse, a tightening in the gut, a flash of pure emotion as subtle and evasive as a butterfly’s breath.  All things begin and end in silence. All things are contained in silence.  And so it follows that our silent conversations of the heart are some of our loudest.  Passionate, raucous, primitive, impetuous, discordant, jubilant, and above all true.  Our hearts are at the core of silence.

 

“Written in four contrasting movements, Conversations in Silence owes something in structure to the classical period sinfonia concertante… This is an outgoing piece with a strong folkie/modal sound to the harmonies and a Bartókian drive. I could go into particulars about the music, but I’ll tantalize you with the prospect of a very pleasurable listening. Special praise should go to Ellisor for her funny schmaltzy episodes, her bolero-esque star turns for the cello, and the good-humored gypsy cafe-style playing during one of the interludes in the scherzo.”                          ~By Marcel Smith for Nashville Scene

Conversations in Silence is a tonal essay, steeped in the classical tradition, yet distinctly ‘Nashville’ in its rhythms and bluesy in its harmonies. Its popular and critical success whetted the audience’s appetite for more of the same.”                               ~The Tennessean

 

More Audio:

Movement 2:

Movement 3:

Movement 4: