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for violin, cello, and piano

Steenhuisen grapples in his piece with what he calls the “retrograde/palindrome problem”—the fact that, while music moves forward through time, the concept of a retrograde melody or musical palindrome requires the listener to experience the music moving both forwards and in reverse—for example, “a 1 2 3 2 1 statement of materials competing against time’s momentum of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.” The overlapping of conceptually divergent materials compounds the problem: how does one begin to hear the beginning, middle, and end of the pattern if new layers distort one’s conception of the melody? Steenhuisen does not attempt to answer the question but simply presents one possible outcome of the palindrome concept.

Performed by The Gryphon Trio.