“I’m very much looking forward to performing the premiere of Faye-Ellen Silverman’s new work Reaching the End of the Dance.” And so, cellist Kate Dillingham introduces us to the composer’s new five-minute, one-movement work for cello solo. Presented by Composers Concordance, the performance is part of the group’s “Radical Other” program will also feature choreography by dancer Katherine Duke of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. The concert will take place on December 11, 2022 at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery in New York City; and will be live-streamed on the Composers Concordance Facebook Page.
Dillingham continues. “This work for solo cello begins with bold pizzicato, and alternates between duple and triple figures that accelerate within each phrase. I imagine dancers turning and spinning gracefully, as the excitement builds and peaks. The intensity unwinds, and the opening theme returns with a walking pizzicato. The piece concludes with sonorous double-stops and singing harmonics allowing the cello to tell an intimate story of remembrance.”
“The title of my composition,” Silverman shares “refers to [composer] Lucia Dlugoszewski’s Disparate Stairway Radical Other – the theme of the Composers Concordance concert. Dlugoszewski’s composed Radical Other in 1995 – in the later part of her life and shortly after she lost her longtime partner, Erick Hawkins. My title plays on many interpretations of ‘dance.’ I was especially influenced by the words of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Time’ and the Josephine Baker quote ‘I shall dance all my life…I would like to die breathless, spent, at the end of a dance.’ Reaching the End of the Dance starts with an invitation to the dance. My ‘dance’ doesn’t use conventional dance rhythms – a tribute to Dlugoszewski’s own music for dance. After this solo cello work reaches its fastest tempo, it begins to slow down, inserting references to a traditional waltz, until it slows to the original tempo and dies out. The pizzicatos on a single pitch – which serve as an invitation to the dance – appear in other parts of this short work. The opening motif of C-D-Eb appears several times, sometimes expanded (eg.: D-F-G), and sometimes transposed. My works often have this kind of motivic interconnection. Here, however, its use relates to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of ‘radical’ as ‘of or growing from the root of a plant.’ This definition was the starting point of this work.”