The Correspondence

I've thought a lot about the work of Luc Tuymans over the years. This piece, which takes its title and inspiration from the Tuymans painting of the same name, was written for the Manhattan School of Music’s Tactus Ensemble. The ensemble is split into two identical groups playing a single chord. The chord is constantly re-orchestrated between the two groups, with Group 2 playing “reverse envelopes” (i.e., as though backwards). The combined effect of Group 1 playing normally and Group 2 playing in reverse creates a throbbing, sliding, underwater sound world. The last minutes of the piece dismantle some of the complicated textures to reveal an intense cello solo.