Time to Wander Where for chamber orchestra (2011)
Premiered by the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Finalist: 2011 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, bass clarinet, alto/tenor sax, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, harp, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 double basses.
Within a harmonic landscape of the C overtone series and extrapolated modes, Time to wander where explores varying shifts in focus across both time and space. At significant points in the piece, the music changes gears between the pulse/beat/meter hierarchy of musical temporality, allowing such questions as, ‘when does a perceived beat slow down enough to become a perceived meter?’ and ‘can a cessation of time feature pulsation?’ Soft and intricate textures accompany a journey up the overtone series—conveyed most literally in the harmonies of the stereophonic string ensembles. A piercing reminder of C interrupts midway through the piece, prompting the music to fold back in on itself, gathering more and more urgency as it avalanches to the finish. A general notion of the following poetic allusion offered me a compositional spark, hinting at but one way in which my piece may be approached:
strolling through a wooded path, breathing the regal trees and the wind whispering through them, the gnarly underbrush, brief fragments of bird song. the path narrows; perceptual reality narrows as I contemplate time dancing……where did it go? when am I?…………in the moment, origin beckons (summoning me?). with hastened pace, whence I came zooms past, recast in the sheen of objective.