Duration: 11 minutes
Recording Available: Yes
Catalog ID: RE1001
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Perspectives, a work for orchestra, is the result of my exploration of two
contrasting extreme compositional processes. One extreme is an approach to
composition from the 'top-down,' or from the 'outside-in', a process analogous to
defining the form of a sculpture before deciding what tools or materials are to
be used to create it. In Perspectives, my 'outside' process defined the structure and shape of the composition by outlining textures and pitch centers for the
piece in a global way. The other extreme process is the opposite of the first, or
an 'inside-out' process. Continuing the analogy above, the sculptor defines the
materials and tools to use first, and the form of the sculpture is then a result
of these choices. For this local process, I initially chose the set-class which
interested me. Through a sequence of manipulations I eventually developed a
symmetrical nine-note scale on which the piece is locally based.
The form of the work is defined by the same 'outside' and 'inside' approach that was used in the composition process. The large-scale (outside) shape of the work is based upon the juxtaposition of two unrelated orchestral environments: a fast section which is highly rhythmic and dense in texture, and a slow section which is rhythmically static with a thin texture. The building blocks (inside) consist of two contrasting motives and two contrasting themes which are directly developed from the nine-note scale. Each of the large sections of the composition is bound together by the two short motives. The first motive is generally presented in the brass and is rhythmically static. The second motive rhythmically telescopes. That is, the duration and distance between notes become shorter. Additionally, the two seemingly unrelated themes are presented separately in each of the different orchestral environments.
Finally, each section of Perspectives gradually becomes shorter until an amalgamation of the various shapes, themes, and motives is presented. This coalescence of material is the foundation for the climactic section, and is the clearest demonstration of the compositional processes used in the work.
Perspectives was written in Kansas City, MO.