2016 / For orchestra

“The first part of ‘Evidence’ is all musical adventure. There are constantly changing figures, some chugging in a John Adams manner. A narrative of going somewhere can be sensed, and the excitement that goes along with such nautical adventure, almost as if this were the accompaniment of a silent film.” – The Los Angeles Times

“The New York premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Evidence revealed an elusive yet engrossing orchestral piece. The 20-minute work is layered with shape-shifting elements: droning low sonorities; restlessly oscillating figures; sonic masses that come in and out of focus; blocks of chords that heave and sway; and, in one surprising turn, a beguiling melodic episode that yearns to settle in but never quite does. For all the contrasts, the piece holds together with unfailing dramatic purpose.” – The New York Times

The basic difference between music and religion is music’s fondness for evidence.

Music-making – at least as I understand it – is a religious practice, but music doesn’t have much time for faith. You wouldn’t trust a composer or performer who says “I know my music doesn’t sound that great, but…take my word for it.” Good music both enacts and embodies. It’s both an act of praise and evidence of some other order, a consciousness, a presence. It speaks to us of some “elsewhere” by manifesting burnt traces of that elsewhere.

The basic difference between music and religion is music’s fondness for evidence.

I find the word “evidence” inexplicably beautiful. Even the Merriam-Webster definition – awkwardly worded, at first glance – feels resonant: “something which shows that something else exists or is true.” When a piece of music is convincing on its own terms – when it earns its affirmations, or when it seduces us into some landscape that we would have thought uninhabitable – hasn’t it manifested the presence of some other, self-sufficient world? Sure, it’s a world that the composer dreamed up, literally an “imaginary” one – but to me that’s even more exciting: it means she or he has revealed some hidden powers lurking within the materials of this world.

The image that kept returning to me as I worked on Evidence was that of a journey from shore to shore in some challenging element – maybe a sea journey, or a journey through space. Whatever the element is, I wanted to see if I could get from one shore to the other.

Rent or purchase Evidence


Listen to four excerpts from Evidence, premiered by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with Aucoin conducting in May 2016


Read the review at the LA Times


For orchestra
Sub Category:Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed:2016
Duration:20 Minutes
Orchestration: 2(2pic).2.2.2/ (min, max players)
Publisher:Associated Music Publishers Inc
Past Performances

14 May 2016
Evidence – World Premiere
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Matthew Aucoin, conductor
15 May 2016
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Matthew Aucoin, conductor
26 MAR 2017
Knoxville, TN
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Big Ears Festival
24 May 2017
Koerner Hall
Toronto, ON, Canada
Canadian Opera Company Orchestra
Johannes Debus, conductor
11 MAR 2018
Young Musicians Foundation
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA
Debut Chamber Orchestra
Yuga Cohler, conductor
30 JUNE 2018
Evidence – New York Premiere
Katonah, NY
Orchestra of St Luke's
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Reviewable Score