Offering (2014)

Ian Dickson

violin, and shō

Commission: Quatuor Bozzini

Program Notes

Offering was composed in 2014 for Music Without Borders, a project in which composers from different continents worked with combinations of Japanese and Western instruments. It was first performed at the Tokyo National Museum by Ko Ishikawa and Clemens Merkel and is dedicated to them. I am also grateful to Daryl Jamieson for involving me in this project. The material assigned to the two instruments reflects their diverse traditions: the shō part provides a slow-moving curtain of sound, while the violin part is based on motifs that would not be out of place in Romantic music (but which accommodate the particular tuning of the sho). My aim was that the two parts should nonetheless fuse into a whole with its own atmosphere. I generally decide on titles after composing a piece and they reflect my own reaction as a listener. This particular title could evoke the sacred but also, more specifically, the participation of composer, performers and audience in a musical situation.