Composer Highlight: Scott Wollschleger / by and Play


We have been so thrilled to work with Scott Wollschleger this year on his new piece for us, Violain! He has been an incredible collaborator, and we feel lucky to have such a great and thoughtful new piece to add to our repertoire. We played some preview performances of the piece on our California tour with great success, and after some tweaks and changes made by Scott we are ready for the world premiere performance on the permutations series on Thursday, December 14th at the DiMenna Center at 7:30pm! 


What was your process like when writing 'Violain'?

My writing process is very hands on and I played around with both instruments to find the sounds I wanted to use for this piece. A lot of the sounds are a result of very fast gestures with unusual bowing technique. In some spots I had to video myself and play it back in slow motion to see what I was doing. Once I saw what I was doing I notated the sound/gesture on staff paper and then taped that individual piece of staff paper to my wall. After some time my walls were decorated with various panels of notation. Many of the "panels" were made of self-similar sounds which made it easy to "stitch" together the various panels to create larger sections of the piece. The piece was written almost exclusively using this kind of collage technique.

Is there anything you would like the audience to know about the piece?

The title came about through a typo in the music engraving file name. The piece was going to have the boring title, "Viola and Violin". The typo-title is fitting because a great deal of the music embraces a typo aesthetic. Since the music was written by hand musical typos were common and in many places I ended up letting the mistake stay in the music because it sounded more interesting.  Also by letting some typos be I feel this gives the music an extra layer of joyful Wabi-sabi. 

What have you been listening to on repeat recently?

Galina Ustvolskaya and Phil Niblock. 

Do you have a go-to car snack recommendations for us?

In a desperate moment a few years ago I bought a bag of Combos on a road trip and discovered they're fun to eat while driving. They also last a week after being open and can be left in a hot steamy car for many hours and taste the same. You can't think to much about them while eating them or you'll feel gross. But I buy a bag any time I hit the road. 

Can you tell us something that we don't know (about you, the world, the universe, etc.)?

The world already ended. 


Check out more of Scott's work on his website!