Violin, clarinet, & piano
Year of composition
Araburlesque's odd title is a portmanteau of "arabesque," a pattern of interlacing lines (or a piece by Debussy), and "burlesque," intended in its classical sense as a grotesque caricature (or a piece by Richard Strauss). I channeled the turn-of-the-century folk modernism of Stravinsky and Bartók and a circus waltz feel to critique the detrimental effects of always putting on a show in a culture of information overload. The middle section collapses into a single tortured violin line, representing the darkness and isolation that often lie beneath the façade of endless connection. After a moment of bluesy yearning, the piece breaks into an exasperated, crazed dance, as if surrendering to the horrors and joys of a new age.
Araburlesque was premiered by Gabija Žilinskaitė, violin, Patrick Mills, clarinet, and Jason Brauer, piano, October 2019, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.