Lois V Vierk
Io (1999) features virtuoso performances on amplified flute, amplified marimba, and electric guitar. After an introductory section, a tumultuous, high energy middle section begins with short, dynamic phrases. As the work progresses, each phrase develops materials from the one before, gradually producing longer and longer phrases, and dense textures of interlocking tremolos and glissandi, with sharply articulated sounds in all instruments. A lyrical statement ends the piece.
The work is titled after Jupiter's innermost moon, which in turn is named for the mythological beautiful maiden Io, beloved of Zeus but otrmented by Zeus' wife, Hera. The moon Io was discovered by Galileo in 1610. In the 1970's it was discovered to have over 100 active volcanoes, the only known volcanoes outside the earth. At times the volcanoes shoot huges plumes of sulfur up to 300 kilometers into the sky. Io is caught in a ravitational tug of war. It is periodically nudged out of regular orbit by two nearby moons, Europa and Ganymede, then pulled back by the massive gravitational field of Jupiter. Io is constantly squeezed and distorted, like a rubber ball held in the hand. The friction produced by this action produces enormous heat--enough to melt the rock deep within and cause the great volcanoes and lava flow.
This piece was commissioned by Ensemble L'ART POUR L'ART of Hamburg, Germany. It was recorded on flutist Margaret Lancaster's CD "Io" on New World Records.
Recording is by:
Margaret Lancaster, flute
Larry Polansky, electric guitar
Matthew Gold, marimba
New World Records 82720 "Io - Margaret Lancaster, flutes"