January (2016)

vln vla vc
duration 5:00


For Sara

With thanks to David Vayo for his advocacy of new music.

January was commissioned by Illinois Wesleyan University for premiere March 10 2016, Bloomington, Illinois. 

note from composer

I am enamored by winter. Not least, viewing the clarity and contrasts of its frozen world. As the famous conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote in his Sand County Almanac, "The months of the year, from January up to June, are a geometric progression in the abundance of distractions... January observation can be almost as simple and peaceful as snow and almost as continuous as cold."

Where I live on Lovö, the long January nights see the forest in stark relief, the pines and birches silhouetted black against a white canvas of moonlit snow. Thick ice covers the nearby lake. At dawn and dusk, mist blurs the horizon between the frozen lake and the sky.

January is winter music for string trio. Each instrument plays an independent lyric solo, a clear line suspended over a blurred accompaniment of uncoordinated swells.

-Matthew Peterson, 2/2/2016



commissioned by Illinois Wesleyan University
premiere: Presser Hall, March 10 2016 (Bloomington, IL)