Towers, Clocks, and Glass Program Note

The harmonic structure of the piece is based upon a computer analysis of the frequency spectrum of a cowbell sample. With the assistance of the computer software Spear and Kyma, the frequency content of the struck cowbell was extracted at three different time points. The spectral analysis of each time point became the basis for the harmonic content of one of three main sections of the work. For each section, the cowbell spectrum was analyzed for its harmonic content parallel to that of the natural harmonic series on the fundamental pitch F (175 Hertz). Thus, harmonic and inharmonic content of the cowbell spectrum was parsed out and distributed separately to different instrument families and groups through each of the three sections. Stylistically, the work possesses three distinct qualities: quiet, static, color-oriented sonorities; fast, repetitive, pulse-oriented passages; and intricate, arching, gesture-oriented interruptions.


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