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In Motion

Instrumentation: Orchestra ( - - Timp - Perc(3) - Strings

Duration: 6'

Program Notes: 

     This piece was conceived as an experiment with time and motion, as the title suggests. I found that much of my recent work seemed to move constantly and didn’t always take time to stop and breathe. In studying some of the work of the latter half of the 20th century, I grew fascinated with the way that different composers shaped time through the gestures that push and pull on the pulse.

     "In Motion" starts off as a slow-moving transformation. The octave F#s heard at the onset undergo a series of shifts in timbres as new instruments add new pitches to the collection. The bass line methodically descends through a series of alternating semitones and major thirds, intervals that remain central throughout the work. After a brief transition that pushes the pulse ahead, a metric modulation suddenly springs the orchestra into motion, as the glacial bass movement mentioned above suddenly becomes a quasi ostinato. A groove is built up through a series of added layers, until the building tension boils over with an unbearably dissonant sound mass. This chord fades away to reveal similar motives to the beginning, and the work ends as it began, with a slow-plodding pulse that lets the listener sit in the sound and digest the previous excitement.

Completed: August 2020

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