Timoti Roj

Timothy Roy composes music steeped in imagery and allusion, which seeks to elicit a sense of time, place, and feeling. His music has been performed at such venues and events as the National Theater of Taipei, Music Biennale Zagreb, ZKM Karlsruhe, BEAST, the DiMenna Center in New York City, Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, and the International Electroacoustic Music Festival of Chile, “Ai-maako.” Recent honors include the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award (1st Prize), ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Award (1st Prize), and Giga-Hertz Prize from ZKM Karlsruhe (Honorable Mention).

Tim lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he is choirmaster and organist at the Church of Saint Peter. He is completing a doctorate from Rice University in Houston, Texas; there, he taught electronic music, theory, and composition, and served for three years as the Teaching Fellow for the Rice Electroacoustic Music Labs (REMLABS).

About the piece

dans les dents de la guivre is the opening movement of Valentina V., a monodrama for harp and multichannel electroacoustic sound. In this work, the harpist adopts the persona of 14th-century noblewoman and harp virtuoso Valentina Visconti, whose life ended in tragedy and exile. Valentina V. presents an imagined scene near the end of Valentina’s life in which she is confined to her chamber with only her precious harp to confide in. Musical materials are in part derived from Jacob de Senleches’s song “La harpe de melodie,” which he likely composed as a gift for Valentina.

Drawn from Victor Hugo’s poem “Canaris,” the opening movement’s title “dans les dents de la guivre” (“in the teeth of the viper”) refers to the Visconti family’s coat of arms: a serpentine creature devouring an infant. The music intersperses fragments of “La harpe de melodie” with sounds imitative of this monster, engendering a feeling of anxiety and suffocation.