Towers, Clocks, and Glass

Instrumentation: orchestra

3 fl (+piccolo), 3 ob (+cor anglais), 3 cl in B-flat (+bass cl), 2 bn, 4 hn, 2 tpt in C, 2 tbn, pc (3 players), strings

Duration: 13′

Program note:

Towers, Clocks, and Glass is the first exploration of my ideas in spectralism revolving around a large scale orchestral work.

Stylistically, the work possesses three distinct qualities: quiet, static, color-oriented sonorities (glass); fast, repetitive, pulse-oriented passages (clocks); and intricate, arching, gesture-oriented interruptions (towers).

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.

Towers, Clocks, and Glass was completed in fulfillment of the PhD. program at Stony Brook University.

Score (excerptS)

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