Esemplastic Suite (2018), written during my residency as a Lloyd International Honors College Artist-in-Residence, is a solo piano piece that centers around uncommon words in the English language and their meanings. The word “esemplastic” itself means “having the ability to shape diverse elements or concepts into a unified whole.” The piece is divided into nine movements, each being associated with a word and its definition. These short movements, which evoke the definitions of the words, function together as one long narrative. Though I had a specific narrative in my mind when composing this work, I would like to invite the listeners to develop their own narratives from the interpretation of the music, the words, and their definitions.
I. Foudroyant – adj., striking as with lightning; sudden and overwhelming in effect; stunning; dazzling.
II. Mazarine – n., a deep, rich blue.
III. Balter – v., to dance or tread clumsily.
IV. Frisson – n., a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill.
V. Quietus – n., discharge or release from life.
VI. Saudade – n., (in Portuguese folk culture) a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent.
VII. Apostasy – n., a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
VIII. Ameliorate – v., to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve.
IX. Alpenglow – n., a reddish glow often seen on the summits of mountains just before sunrise or just after sunset.
The recordings below were performed by Anja Arko.