Clara Iannotta: Intent on Resurrection — Spring or Some Such Thing (2014) | Chicago premiere

Duration: 14 minutes
Instrumentation: Large ensemble
Premiered by Ensemble Intercontemporain on Oct. 17, 2014, at La Cité de la Musique in Paris
Dedicated to Maria Carmina Romaniello
Copyright: Clara Iannotta

The composer writes:
“The winter in Berlin has been long — the snow only stopped covering the city at the end of April — and in the solitude of being a stranger again, after Paris, in a country where, this time, I did not even understand the language, I dedicated myself to reading. I discovered two writers who inspired my latest works: the American David Foster Wallace (1962–2008), who influenced my string quartet A Failed Entertainment, written in 2013, and the Irish poet Dorothy Molloy (1942–2004).

“The three brief collections of poems by Dorothy Molloy — who died of cancer at 62, only 10 days before her first volume was published by Faber & Faber — represent her journey, told with a touching and at the same time cynical lucidity, through her illness, and the destruction of her body. In fact, each poem could be considered almost as a human frame in the process of annihilation. In the darkness of this transformation, Dorothy Molloy introduces, from time to time, small, almost imperceptible glints of light that give an utterly new perspective to a material otherwise perfectly still.”

The bones I feel inside my skin
are scaffolding that holds me in.
Earth will glean them when I’m chaff,
and wafted off.

Those bones will be an implement,
an ornament or instrument.
Fingers will wrap themselves around
the hollow sound.
They’ll play the bones fortissimo,
disturb me when I’m lying low.
Intent on resurrection—spring,
or some such thing.
             Dorothy Molloy, Hare Soup, Faber & Faber, 2004

About the composer:
Born in Rome in 1983, Clara Iannotta spent her whole childhood studying to become a flutist. She started taking composition classes in 2003 and realized that composing was the art that represented her the most. Looking for a good teacher, she traveled around Italy and spent three years in Milan to study with Alessandro Solbiati.

Since then, she has had inspiring conversations with many composers; she talked about notation with Mark André, material with Franck Bedrossian, form with Chaya Czernowin and silence with Steven Takasugi.

Iannotta is particularly interested in music as an existential, physical experience. She believes music should be seen as well as heard. This is one of the reasons she sometimes prefers to talk about the choreography of the sound, rather than about the orchestration itself.

She lived and studied in Paris for five years at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, with Frédéric Durieux. In January 2013, she moved to Berlin, where she was a one-year guest of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD. She is now working on a doctorate at Harvard University. Current projects include new pieces for Neue Vocalsolisten, Münchener Kammerorchester and Duo 2KW, as well as the artistic direction of the festival Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik (2014-18). She lives in Berlin and Boston.