The ZOFO piano duet asked me to compose this work after I had the good fortune to be involved with several of their performance projects. The duet’s name is a blended acronym standing for 20 (“ZO”) Finger Orchestra (“FO”), as they envisage creating a shifting world of symphonic colour by repeatedly prodding a large wooden box.
Zofomorphosis tests this thesis by planting them in the middle of a real orchestra and seeing how many original sonorities emerge. The music employs related cells of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic motifs that undergo continual metamorphosis through the work.
It comprises three contrasting movements, played without a break. The first is resiliently buoyant, with a dreamy central episode heralding a couplet of short cadenzas. It falls away suddenly to a pensive slow movement enveloping a short interruption of surprising energy. The last movement is an increasingly persistent tarantella, the finale of which is preceded by a substantial unaccompanied cadenza for the soloists.
The music, of course, is dedicated to ZOFO.
Carl Vine, April 2020