Composer Peter Askim wrote Inner Voices for Solo Viola as the compulsory piece for the 13th Primrose International Viola Competition. Ayane Kozasa won the First Prize in the competition, as well as the prize for the best performance of Inner Voices.
The composer writes about the work:
The viola has always seemed to me to be closest not only to the human voice, but to the inner human voice. It is a voice that is unwaveringly true and honest, even when that truth is painful, vulnerable and full of the unvarnished complications and contradictions of human emotion. There is a rawness, dark beauty and fragility to the sound that seems to come from the deepest, most intimate and secret part of the soul. Not only does the viola play the so-called “inner voice” of the string quartet, it speaks with the many inner voices that emanate from conscience and consciousness.
With Inner Voices, I have attempted to capture a glimpse of the fleeting nature of human emotion as it metamorphoses from one ephemeral state to another. Transforming sometimes suddenly, sometimes imperceptibly, the boundary between one thought blurs into the next. Each transitory mood is juxtaposed and tangled with every other one: powerful anger with great delicacy; deep frustration with lingering regret; fragility and tenderness with uncertainty; strength with
a cry from the heart with a whispering of the soul….