This piece for clarinet and piano was written for clarinetist David Snyder in February, 2010.
The title, White on White, is a double allusion - it refers to the 1918 painting by Kazimir Malevich, pictured the right, as well as the characteristic non-vibrato "white tone" of the clarinet. The music of White on White is an exploration of lyricism and organic melodic development. To me, white paint on a white canvas does not represent a void or a lack of substance, but rather a starting point from which the imagination may roam. I essentially grow a melody out of the silent backdrop, utilizing the clarinet's extremely expressive dynamic capabilities. The piano provides counterpoint in a quasi-passacaglia form, but the lines remain simple and lyrical over somewhat nostalgic harmonies.
Listen to David Snyder's performance from the University of Michigan, Stamps Auditorium, March 29, 2010:
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