Michael Torke’s “Unseen” (No. 5): A Shifting Kaleidoscope

Last month, we listened to the first single from Unseen, the newest work of American composer Michael Torke. The piece, scored for orchestra, unfolds in nine brief movements, and continues in the direction of Torke’s recent groove-based chamber works, Being (2020), Psalms and Canticles (2021), and Time (2022). The complete album for Unseen will be released on May 10.

Unseen, No. 5, which came out yesterday, emerges from a single pulsating rhythmic pattern in the strings. The piece develops as a shifting kaleidoscope of conversing instrumental voices. In the final bars, the voices fade away, and the original pattern remains to drift off into the ether. A repeating harmonic progression gently echoes a contemporary pop hook. It cycles through a series of modulations, each of which reveals a new scene. At moments, the pulse becomes delightfully irregular, altering time as a temporarily skipping heartbeat. Simultaneously majestic, spirited, and melancholy, this is the music of long roadtrips and continuously shifting landscapes.


  • Torke: Unseen, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Michael Torke Orchestra michaeltorke.com

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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