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Premiere Performance:
Aspen Contemporary Ensemble

Aspen Music Festival and School

Harris Concert Hall, Aspen, CO.
August 10th, 2023


Alexander "Sasha" lshov, flute

Clayton Luckadoo, clarinet

Colin McCall, percussion

Liam Kaplan, piano

Jacob Schafer, violin

Otavio Manzano Kavakama, cello

Timothy Weiss, conductor

Accompaniment (2023)


Duration: ca. 9' m


fl, cl, perc, vn, vc, pf

When I lived in Jerusalem, there used to be an old street performer who sat at the crossroads of two busy streets at the city center and played instrumental covers of popular Israeli melodies on the electric guitar. He used a drum machine as his backing track that repeated the same chord again and again over an endless um-pa um-pa beat and didn’t seem to mind that the melodies he played were at odds with the static harmonic accompaniment. I was studying composition at the time and was engrossed in the study of harmony, but whenever I heard him play, I would be reminded that, in some cases, harmony is way overrated. My piece Accompaniment, written for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, kaleidoscopically explores the um-pa um-pa accompaniment pattern, a ubiquitous presence in the music I absorbed growing up in Israel, and thus, whether I like it or not, part of my musical DNA. Bringing this ready-made musical object from the background to the foreground I attempt to abstract it from its original context and find the hidden beauty that lies within it.

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