“Samarasa” is a rough translation for “mind at rest” in Sanskrit. I composed this piece for the violinist Hae-Sun Kang who is with Ensemble InterContemporain, commissioned by the Messiaen Festival which takes place in the French Alps.
As I set to work on this piece, my focus fell on the right arm of the performer and the movement and speed of the bow. Whereas contemporary music tends to focus on the pitches (which would be the performer’s “left hand”, and its fingering) - and quite understandably so - I was more fascinated with the right arm, as was the case with my viola piece “flux”. The first part begins with the same note being played alternately on three strings, where the violinist’s bow maintains its normal movement while the “left hand” shifts geographically on violin’s fingerboard. This unconventional method produces an irregular kind of melody. During the compositional process I tried drawing the neck of a violin on a piece of paper and placing my fingers along it. The constant cross-string technique employed in the piece is another “unnatural” characteristic unique to string instruments.