The word “grit” is defined as “an abrasive material composed of hard, sharp granules” and also as a personality trait characterized by “firmness of mind or spirit, unyielding courage in the face of danger, and perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Lauren Spavelko’s work Grit is composed to capture the dual meaning of the word.
The structure of Grit portrays perseverance, struggle, and courage in the face of adversity. This brief work makes abundant use of mixed meter, uneven rhythms, accents, abrupt shifts, and sharp dissonance which, combined, create the rough-around-the-edges sound of the piece. From the first moments, heartbeat is set — ragged, relentless, and driving perpetually onward. This primary theme punctuates the piece, transforming through each section, but always returning — rushing to a breathless and triumphant finish.
It is critical that the music continually drive forward and remain energized. The piece should begin at a reasonable tempo for the ensemble to allow room for this comparative growth.
[Program and performance note by the composer]
Click HERE to view a complete perusal score of the version for String Quartet.
Click HERE to view a sample of the version for String Orchestra.