Fits & Bursts (2001"“2002)

for Richard Fisher & Jeannie Donovan Fisher
Orchestra (piccolo, 2 flutes (3rd doubles piccolo II), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, 4 percussion, piano, 2 harps, strings), 6'

Fits & Bursts was commissioned by Bard College to commemorate the occasion of the naming of their new performing arts center, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. As a piece of music designed to celebrate a site of artistic production, Fits & Bursts attempts to mimic one of the most frustrating and exciting aspects of the creative process: the violent transformation of a small idea onto a large scale. The piece is organized around several short, spastic improvisatory tutti sections whose energy comes from the shimmering blocks of sound at the beginning of the piece. Towards the end of the piece, the music organizes itself into several huge chords with moving parts””an incorporation of some of Frank Gehry’s sketches for the Fisher Center. The piece ends in a sort of ecstatic conflict””appropriate, I believe, for a building designed to house creation, trial & error, mistakes, and performance. Fits & Bursts was premiered by Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra in February, 2003, at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.

1 Comment

  • I’m a composer studying at the University of North Texas.

    I’m doing a paper on how contemporary composers are utilizing (or not) form and structure in orchestral works. Unfortunately, very little is written about the really cool recent stuff. And that’s where all the excitement is!! I’d like to include one of your pieces–I think Fits & Bursts would be great. Is there a recording of the premier?

    Thanks. Website is great!

    Christina S. Rusnak