Going Up? flute, viola, cello
Winner of the 2019 Atlanta Contemporary Ensemble competition for new chamber music
Going Up? was commissioned in 2007 by the New York trio Eight Strings and a Whistle and completed in 2008. To my ear, the material and energy of the piece continually pulls the listener upward, hence the title. There are three themes, all ascending, introduced in the first moments respectively by the flute as the piece opens, the pizzicato cello in measure 4, and the pizzicato cello again in measure 8. What should the listener make of all this upward momentum? Might there be some kind of emotional or spiritual meaning behind the notes? I don’t know.
"Program notes were unnecessary for the second piece, since composer Martin Rokeach was there to explain all from the stage. He told us that Going Up?, for flute, viola, and cello, was written for members of an ensemble with the memorable moniker of “Eight Strings and a Whistle.” Then, very kindly, he asked Gold Coast members to play the work’s two “climbing themes” and a more complex flute theme, which he cleverly characterized as a call saying, “I’m up; come on up!” In my book, there’s nothing better than playing some juicy samples of upcoming unfamiliar music, and the audience responded favorably seven minutes later at the end of Rokeach’s melodious, infectiously rhythmic, and well-constructed piece."
San Francisco Classical Voice
Performances of Going Up? by Eight Strings and a Whistle took place in 2014 in Maine, Massachusetts, upstate new York and New York City. Click here to see and hear them discuss the piece on Maine Public Broadcasting Network. The work is included on the trio's 2017 CD, "Albert's Window," on Parma Records.
Listen to the MP3: San Francisco Symphony musicians Robin McKee (flute)
and Nancy Ellis (viola) with cellist Dawn Foster-Dodson.