Catalyst is a single movement piece for solo violin. The composition was written for a master class with Peter Sheppard Skaerved at the Peabody Conservatory. A catalyst is something that causes or accelerates a reaction. It is this image that inspires the drama of the piece. It should feel as if it is always building in momentum until it finally reaches a tipping point and erupts into fast passagework. The material for this piece is derived from the opening two measures and is developed throughout the composition. As a composer who greatly values voice-leading and the independence of contrapuntal lines, I enjoyed the challenge of retaining these elements of my music with an instrument that typically plays one or two notes at a time. The passagework at the end of the piece was inspired by my upbringing as a drum set player. As a child, I used to enjoy playing drum solos in my band and when I decided that this piece needed a flashy ending, I essentially composed a drum solo for the violin. My experience as a drummer has rarely influenced my past compositions in a direct way, but I was happy to make an exception for this piece. 

for solo violin

Christopher Ciampoli, violin 

​Duration: 7'22"'


CATALYST (2018)

​ABOUT THE WORK