Can You Stop the Time? (No) (2022)
1 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 0 – perc – hp – single str
Commissioned by National Orchestral Institute + Festival
Premiered June 24, 2022
National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic
Time is the question, the answer, and the method of life. Despite knowing the units of time and what they roughly mean, this comes second to how we feel it. One could trudge through what feels like hours of a boring lecture, fending off sleep, to have only spent ten minutes. The opposite is true as well. For instance, a whole day with someone you love can pass by like a blur and you may forget what time does to you—sleep, hunger, and life is entirely disregarded.
Can You Stop the Time? is about this second meaning of time and is a question we’ve all thought about in some form, at some point in our lives. Concurrently, this piece explores textures that resemble time slipping away too quickly, incorporating elements of tremolo, trills, ascending and descending runs, and sudden changes in dynamics.
The moment that we ask “Can you stop the time?” is a moment too precious to forfeit. But time cannot be stopped, so we accept the answer that gives us another option, the future—one with hope and promise of good fortune. The piece was commissioned by the National Orchestral Institute + Festival in 2022.
– Nicky Sohn