Commissioned by the Sinfonietta of Riverdale, Mark Mandarano, Artistic Director
Lunastella Fuga was composed during the dog days of summer, nights spent gazing at the stars and wandering the New Hampshire woodland aglow in the otherworldly light of a blue moon. Large constellations catch the eye first – Orion, Ursa Major, Aquarius – but their constituent triangles and squares are echoed infinitely, a giant fractal, incessantly permeating the firmament. We are drawn to the art of mimicry, and for composers, the fugue is its playground. Fugue is a compositional technique built on a melodic theme, first introduced in a single voice (in this piece, the cellos) and then spiraled throughout the other voices of the ensemble. The theme thrusts forward, transforming as it weaves amidst the voices – augmented, diminished, transposed to other pitches, and so on. The fugue theme seems to be heard everywhere, an astral echo of music in the air.