‘...and one of time.' is a reinterpretation of a small musical moment from Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach, centered around the phrase "Berne, Switzerland 1905." This reinterpretation is realized through the use of several different compositional techniques including spectral composition, micropolyphony and dodecaphony, as well as the application of extra-musical models developed by Alan Lightman, John Gardner, Italo Calvino and Albert Einstein.
I, Blavatsky is a one-act opera based on the life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess and co-founder of a religious organization called the Theosophical Society. The libretto, by the composer, involves a cast of three principal soloists and minor roles for six more singers who are also participants in a small chorus. The text format features free verse alternating with regular, rhymed strophes. Accompaniment is provided by a piano. Melodic structure combines some nineteenth-century Romantic idioms with twentieth-century style. Most of the melodic and harmonic material was intuitively composed to express the text. Rhythmic and stylistic contrasts are accomplished in the representation of the extensive travels of the main character. Stage directions involve a stylized set, several scenes requiring minimal set changes, magical effects to represent that facet of Blavatsky's life, and onstage costume changes for several characters. Approximate duration is one hour.
Cenotaph is a work of fifteen minutes duration for solo tape realized on the Synclavier Digital Music System at the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia. All of the sound materials in the work consist of resynthesized timbres derived from the analysis of digital recordings of seven different human voices, each speaking the last name of one of the Challenger astronauts. The work's harmonic resources are derived in a unique way involving partitioning of the octave by powers of the Golden Section. The work is in a single movement divided into three sections which function as prologue, action, and epilogue, respectively. This formal structure is reinforced by differentiation of harmonicmaterials and texture. Although Cenotaph cannot be performed "live" and exists only as a recording, a graphic score is included to assist analysis and study.
The three movements of this piece are related proportionally in that movements one and two represent three-fifths of the length of the whole. Movement three represents two-fifths of the length of the whole. Another proportional relationship exists between movements one and two. Movement one represents two-fifths of the length of the first two movements, while movement two represents three-fifths of the length of the two. An additional link between the three movements is pitch content. Movements one and two have little in common in this regard, but movement three combines elements of the first two. The duration of the entire piece is approximately fifteen minutes.
Contours is scored for full wind ensemble and percussion, and is approximately nine minutes in length. The title refers to the way melodic shape or contour is used to create unity and variety in the piece. Contours is a single-movement work containing three sections that are unified by thematic and harmonic materials. The melodic material is generated by three twelve-tone rows, which are then used in combination with freely composed material. The first and last sections are highly contrapuntal and rhythmically disjunct. Both sections share common rhythmic and melodic patterns. These sections are contrasted with a slower and more lyric middle section. This section is made of a series of episodes that create an overall A-B-A structure.
As Darkness Falls is a composition that explores our interaction with several aspects of darkness through the use of musical imagery. The imagery attempts to reflect the moods, feelings, and impressions of a person as he or she interacts with darkness. The non-programmatic character of the composition allows listeners to superimpose their own experiences onto the musical tapestry in order to manifest a personal connection between the listener and the music. As Darkness Falls is a composition scored for a minimum instrumentation of piccolo, 6 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 bassoons, 9 B-flat clarinets, B-flat bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 4 B-flat trumpets, 4 horns in F, 3 tenor trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, timpani, and 4 percussionists. The music consists of three movements (slow-slow-fast) lasting a total of approximately seventeen minutes. The duration of each of the three movements is six minutes, four and one-half minutes, and six and one-half minutes, respectively. The document also contains an analysis of the work by the composer. The analysis explores the compositional style of the work, focusing on musical aspects within each movement that were governing parameters in the compositional process.
A Different Drummer is a chamber opera adaptation of Donald Davis's story "A Different Drummer" from his collection Listening for the Crack of Dawn, published by August House. The opera lasts about seventy minutes, and calls for a cast of three and an orchestra of sixteen players. It contains a prologue, epilogue and four scenes in a single act. The score is prefaced by a paper describing the musical strategies employed in setting the story as an opera. Three chapters describe the adaptation from short story to opera, the essential musical elements, and details of the application of the musical elements in each scene of the opera. The libretto is presented in the fourth chapter.
The Full Armor of God is a musical composition based on the apostle Paul's comparison in Ephesians 6:10-20 between armor for physical combat and armor for spiritual warfare. The instrumentation consists of the following: oboe/English horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello, and bass. Texts on Roman armor as well as commentaries and sermons on the scriptures were consulted for the basis of the musical materials. The piece combines imagery and historical associations with abstract renderings of both the physical and the spiritual.
The dissertation is recorded computer music. It has a duration of fourteen minutes and fifty seven seconds. The source sound material is a reading of a sonnet of the same name by thirteenth century Sienese poet Cecco Angiolieri. It utilizes Linear Predictive Coding and Short-time-fourier synthesis in addition to postprocessing by spatialization and digital filtering. The discussion of the piece includes an explanation of the synthesis techniques, the pitch manipulation algorithms and the programs written by the composer to generate computer scores based on these algorithms, and finally how the individual musical events were generated and mixed together. The computer scores and programs used to generated these scores are provided after the discussion.
In Nomine Domini is an eighteen-minute composition for two chamber orchestras with two soloists using real-time interactive signal processing techniques. The first chamber orchestra is scored for flute (piccolo), English horn, trumpet in C, trombone, two percussionists (cowbells, wood blocks, tenor drum, suspended cymbal, gongs, tam-tam, temple blocks, tambourine, snare drum, timbales, and bass drum), horn in F (soloist), viola, and string bass. The second chamber orchestra is scored for oboe, clarinet in Bb (bass clarinet in Bb), bassoon, tuba, two percussionists (crotales, two marimbas, vibraphone, chimes, and tom-toms), piano (soloist), violin, and cello. Real-time interactive signal processing techniques are achieved through the use of a stereo multiple-effects signal processor and a personal computer running MIDI interactive software. The work is based upon the four-hundred and seventy-five year old in nomine composition tradition begun by John Taverner in the Benedictus of his Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas (1520) and continued in over one-hundred and fifty Renaissance settings. In Nomine Domini consists of three movements: "Taverner* derived from the Benedictus of the Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas (1520), "Byrd" derived from the Benedictus of William Byrd's Five-voice Mass (1592), and "Tye" derived from Christopher lye's In Nomine XIII "Trust" (1578). In Nomine Domini applies the English art of change ringing and three computer-assisted composition techniques: stochastic processes, fractal applications, and conditional probabilities.
Discusses the creation and performance at a concert on Feb. 12, 1990, in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater at the University of North Texas of three computer music-intermedia compositions: Shakespeare quartet for 4 acoustic guitars; A noite, porem, rangeu e quebrou, for instrument of low pitch range, tape and computer; and Help me remember, for performer, Synclavier, interactive MIDI computer music system and slides.
Loose Id, scored for orchestra (piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, B-flat contrabass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B-flat, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 parts), violin I, violin II, viola, violoncello, and contrabass), is an abstract realization in sound of the energy of the Id. Unleashed, without the counterbalance of Ego or Superego, the Id generates unbridled instinctual energy, resulting in an orgiastic frenzy. Distinct from a state of dementia, this piece represents a thoroughly lucid and intentional rampage of self-indulgence. The accompanying essay examines the underlying structural principles of Loose Id, focusing on how they aid the creation of the overall experience of the piece. Particular attention is given to the concepts of linearity and nonlinearity and their roles in different levels of creative and listening processes.
Matador is an opera scored for orchestra, mixed chorus and soloists (mezzosoprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones). The work is in one act divided into two main sections. Each of these sections is divided into subsections. The libretto is aphoristic in nature and dictates the form of each of these subsections. The division into two parts also serves as a means to evoke a sense of hopelessness of emotions in the first and a transforming disposition that culminates in a jubilant song in the second.
Mobiles is a composition for an ensemble consisting of 12 instruments. The piece, in one movement, incorporates intuition, chance, and twelve tone techniques and reflects the relationship between motion and rest or tension and release. The structure is modeled according to principles of growth and decay, starting off slowly, building, and then dying away. Much of the material is inspired by mental images invoked from modern theories concerning chaos. Mobiles' character stems from the principal use of two motives, the chaos motif and the echo motif. Primarily, the chaos motif is representative of a state of motion while the echo motif represents a state of rest. Mobile architecture is usually characteristic of symmetry, balance, and proportion, but because of uncertainty in a natural environment, this proportion often falls short of a perfect symmetrical balance as in the case of a crystal or a fractal design. It is this kind of architecture that Mobiles portrays in its form and developmental process.
...I never saw another butterfly... is a twelve movement chamber work scored for SATB choir, narrator, percussion I [vibraphone, and tomtoms (4)], percussion II [timpani (4), tam-tam, snare drum, and bass drum], guitar, violins I and II, viola, and cello and is based on the book of the same name. It contains a variety of compositional techniques, forms and genres.
The opera is scored for chamber orchestra consisting of one oboe, two Bb clarinets, two horns in F, one trumpet in C, one tenor trombone, two percussionists (playing snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, wood block, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, agogo bells, cow bell, brake drum, metal whistle, whip, large gong, Glockenspiel, chimes, timpani in F (low) and C), eight or more violins in two parts, six or more violas in two parts, and eight or more cellos in two parts. The characters are Alejandro Jiminez, a dramatic tenor; the Manager of Burger Palace, a baritone; the Suits 1/Fast Food Workers, a choir (SATB) and the Suits 2/Customers, a second choir (SATB), each ideally consisting of eight vocalists for a total of sixteen; the Daydream Figures, which are mimed parts; the Man with Gun, which is a spoken part. The opera, in one act consisting of six scenes and an interlude, is based on a libretto by the composer. There is only one scene change: from an essentially empty stage to a fast food restaurant in Scene 4. The length of the work is approximately sixty to sixty-five minutes.
Persistence is a composition scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 bassoons, E-flat clarinet, 3 1st B-flat clarinets, 3 2nd B-flat clarinets, 3 3rd B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 3 B-flat trumpets, 4 French horns in F, 2 trombones, bass trombone, baritone, tuba, timpani, and 4 auxiliary percussionists. The music consists of three movements, fast-slow-fast, lasting approximately eleven and one-half minutes. The three movements last three minutes and twenty seconds, five minutes and thirty seconds, and three minutes and ten seconds respectively.
The thesis is a traditional piano quintet in the manner of Bartok, incorporating compositional techniques such as golden ratio and using folk materials. Special effects on strings are limited for easy conversion to wind instruments. The piece is about 15 minutes long.
Riders to the Sea is a chamber opera in one act of approximately 40 minutes in duration. The single act is divided into six scenes that progress without pause. The vocal parts are comprised of 2 sopranos, 1 mezzo-soprano, 1 baritone, and an off-stage chorus of men's voices (tenor I, tenor II, baritone, and bass; two per part). The orchestra will be comprised of winds (1-1-1-1-1), brass (2-2-1-1), strings (2-2-2-2-1), piano, 2 percussionists, and tape, that will be used to provide a continuous background of surf and wind sounds. Authentic Irish folk songs are threaded throughout the work, generally functioning as a background element, while twentieth-century compositional techniques are utilized primarily for special effects.
Sinfonietta is a work of about 18 minutes for orchestra with an instrumentation of 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 4 timpani, percussion, harps, piano and strings. Three players are required for the percussion battery. The work is in four movements: Prelude, Theme and Variations, Largo and Finale. Movement I is in a tri-partite design. In the second movement, the theme is first enunciated by a solo violoncello in its high register followed by seven variations in the orchestra. In Movement III, there are three brief sections plus a longer coda which links to the Finale, the last movement of the Sinfonietta. This movement ends the work with a double fugal section where many of the important features used in the work recur. The movements are made coherent by means of cyclic treatment of the material.
Sona of Pi-Pa is a composition set to a poem to be performed by soprano and mixed instrumental ensemble. The formal plan is through-composed and the organization of each individual piece is largely determined by the structure of the poetic text. The text, drawn from Song of Pi-Pa by Po Chu-i, depicts the story of how the poet became overwhelmed by the chance hearing of a virtuosic performance of a woman playing the pi-pa. The general characteristics of the work reflect the assimilation of certain non-western musical and philosophical influences. Traditional western compositional techniques are also employed in the treatment of thematic materials, musical form, instrumentation, and the developmental process. The total performance time for this composition is approximately twenty-six minutes.
Symphony in Three movements is an orchestra work scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in Bb, two bassoons, two horns in F, three trumpets in Bb, three trombones, one tuba, percussion and strings. The percussion consists of timpani, vibraphone, temple block, tom-tom, suspended cymble, bass drum, and gong. The piece is not based on any non-musical image. The three movements of this work, I.(variation-like) II.(ternary) III.(fantasia-like), are based on the combination of the solemn ceremonial atmosphere of Korean music and early twentieth-century Western music.
Some artists strive to create artwork that has aesthetic value. If a piece of artwork has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, it must contain strong sensual attributes. Thus, understanding how to design an art form to contain strong sensual attributes may increase the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Since aesthetics is an experience of sensations perceived when in contact with a creative form in any artistic discipline, it is necessary for an artist to understand the nature of the sensual experience. In understanding the sensual experience, artists may be able to create techniques to enhance the aesthetic experience of their work. My video piece, entitled Ararat is a study of methods to enhance the sensual experience. I hope to accomplish this by means of using techniques that optimize an audience's perceptual experience.
Temporal Distortions is 18-20 minutes in length and is written for an orchestra including 2 flutes (2nd flute doubling on piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, timpani, 3 percussionists playing tri-toms, vibraphone, snare/tenor drum, medium suspended cymbal, Glockenspiel, bass drum, and large tam-tam; and multiple string parts for violin I a & b, violin II a & b, viola a & b, cello and double bass. Temporal Distortions was inspired by the theoretical concept of "wormholes" in space, where matter is warped through distorted passages connecting distant and diverse parts of the universe. The work is in three sections, connected without break. The first section, Space, emerges as a wide, expansive musical area where themes and gestures are freely presented. Gradually, these materials come into phase with one another, building to a climax. A transition follows, leading into the middle section, Wormholes, where the materials are frequently and suddenly transformed into other temporal elements. The third section, Comets, was inspired by the collision of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the planet Jupiter in July of 1993. Driving, underlying rhythms propel the thematic material through a series of statements which split into more and more substatements. This leads into a turbulent, explosive section and a final wormhole which returns to the opening material. Five basic temporal elements -- sustaining, aligned/non-repeating, aligned/repeating, non-aligned/repeating, and non-aligned/non-repeating -- are derived and demonstrated. Relationships between these elements are examined, and basic transformations are discussed. These elements serve as the basis for a theory of temporal analysis applicable to both metered and non-metered music. Chapter I presents this theory, and Chapter II discusses its application as a compositional method in Temporal Distortions.
A Wedding Ceremony is a composition of approximately 17 minutes in duration and is scored for horn in F, two trumpets in B-flat, trombone, two percussionists (timpani, roto toms, chimes, snare, triangle, suspended cymbal), 2-part boys choir, female soprano, and organ. The work consists of five parts of a mass, the Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, and Recessional, with texted sections being taken from the Latin mass. The work is intended for a sacred wedding service of any denomination. The work was composed with the traditional aspects of the Latin mass in combination with a contemporary setting.
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