Unchained Melodies

 flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, bass, piano

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Unchained Melodies is a new modular chamber work with a contemporary twist that evokes the contrapuntal rigor of medieval music and the crafty puzzles of J.S. Bach. The composition is a collection of ten 10-minute solo pieces that can be combined in endless permutations ranging from duos all the way up to full dectet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, bass, piano). Expanding upon the chamber version for core dectet, Unchained Melodies can also be performed with massed forces of an indeterminate number of musicians or as a concerto with orchestra in which Fifth House Ensemble soloists lead sections of instruments. The work’s extreme adaptability works especially well for educational programs and community engagement events that benefit from flexible instrumentation, and opens up myriad possibilities of side-by-side performances, educational activities, and large-scale, multi-venue performance initiatives.

A statement from composer Dan Visconti:

Such a project allows me to truly stretch my craft and imagination as a composer. My goal is to create a new system of notation that will enable a satisfying and intellectually engaging musical performance in any form—an extension of the core principle of chamber music that all voices must contribute and that all are essential in shaping a musical dialogue. Unchained Melodies is a work designed to yield performances as diverse and varied as the performers themselves, allowing the musicians to put their own expression and identity to the fore in a way that is not typical for classical music.