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VIEW SCORE: Toward Solace (SCORE–PDF)
INSTRUMENTATION: Fl, 2 Cl in Bb, 2 Hn, Hp, Pno, 2 Vln, Vla, Vcl, Perc
This piece is something of a synthesis of several influences—Ligeti’s sound mass techniques, Feldman’s music of discrete moments, Eastern aesthetics, and spectral music to name a few. The piece opens with a tense pulsing of massive chords that morph into others and begin to pulse at different rates. Gradually, flourishes in the piano, harp, and vibraphone, and then other instruments, begin to intrude upon this texture until they overtake and begin to dominate the texture. Eventually this layer of flourishes is itself overtaken and reduced to periodic flashbacks by a slow-moving, singing melody that ends the composition.
The point of the work is that these great shifts in material, from A through B to C, occur so slowly as to be imperceptible as they happen. The result, I hope, is a meditative loss of time as the listener is taken on a journey from the tense beginning toward the solace of the serene, song-like end.