I had the fortune to perform "Veil of Leaves" that same summer in Pikes Falls. Sometimes I hunger for music to begin from absolute stillness, from some sort of primal origin, which "Veil of Leaves" does. In this work, the opening four-voice unison is our point of departure, from which the sounds seem to split off from each other, like shards of refracted light radiating away from a center. The initial whole dissolves into a miniature in the form of little rhythmic motives that each instrument plays with a special technique called artificial harmonics. We lightly place our fingers on the strings, creating a much higher sound with a windy, whistling quality to it. Complexity and an almost raucous chaos ensues when these atoms of the theme are set free to clash and crash against each other in the middle section before culminating in a powerful climax.
Julia's music challenges all our expressive and technical faculties, but it is so rewarding. Like a great novel in which you already know the ending but forget how the hero might get there, her lines transport us into their story. We can't wait to share these new pieces with you at upcoming concerts including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in NYC on March 14.