Non Sequitur Music

Lines in Motion

Play the first movement of Lines in Motion.

Play the second movement of Lines in Motion.

Play the third movement of Lines in Motion.
These recordings are by violinist Charles Wetherbee and the St. Petersberg Symphony, Vladimir Lande, conductor.







Composer: James Aikman
Instrumentation: Violin soloist and Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed: 2009
Duration: 23 minutes (three movements)
  • Rental: $600.00
  • Purchase: $1,000.00

Program Notes

Lines in Motion, a concert piece for violin and orchestra, was given its world premiere by Charles Wetherbee, violin, and the St. Petersburg Symphony, Vladimir Lande, Principal Guest Conductor. The piece was proposed by Mr. Lande, who had heard recordings of my music at, and who offered to present a new concerto in St. Petersburg, June 2009. The concerto is set in three movements. The first, Prologue/Improvisation, contains patterned lines gradually appearing, instrument by instrument, overlapping and cascading, while generating the solid foundation or canvas that eventually presents an emerging violin soloist. The instrumentalists of the orchestra perform related angular lines with a regular pulsation, whereas the violinist takes the solo line in a brand new direction entirely, rising above the orchestra as if actively and creatively splashing paint over the canvas. The intent is to create the sensation and beauty of improvisation for the violinist by lending the part perceived flexibility and freedom.

The middle movement of this concerto is primarily reflective, searching music and is over twice the duration of each outer movement. The direct lines, clear form and meaning are at once graspable, yet evade expectation. This free "Quasi una fantasia" presents an array of common musical elements: lyrical melodic contours; splashes of layered orchestration; powerful, tutti statements; and even a quasi-electric guitar solo for the solo violinist and concertmaster. (The rock solo suggests Rauschenberg’s making art out of found materials.) The resulting, cumulative musical and emotive sound world is the primary goal, being one of joy within contemplation.

The Toccata features the violinist and the entire orchestra in a fast-paced, virtuosic finale. In part, it is based on a riff from the classic rock band, Yes. This piece plays with sharply contrasting textural densities as well. From the outset, the violin line is presented alone with the xylophone. Then, immediately, the motif is stated by the full orchestra. Sparse texture, thick texture, back and forth it goes, until a brief pause here and there. The resulting juxtapositions make for exciting interplay leading to the work’s conclusion!

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