Resonance Unfolding 2: Hommage à Olivier Messiaen - 2015
(*22*42 / 2221 / 3Perc/ Hrp / Celesta/ 12vlns, 4Vlas, 4Vc, 2bs) + amplification and onstage resonating pianos
Funds provided by the Chalmers Foundation through an artistic development grant.
Premiere: March 29, 2015, Koerner Hall, Toronto/Ontario, Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk - conductor
Since being introduced to the music of the French composer Gérard Grisey, I have been intrigued by spectral techniques towards musical structure - in essence, that the musical materials are derived from the sounds themselves - from their essence, both overt and hidden. Lurking within this concept lies a kind of moral obligation - to free sound from cultural construction, and allow it to discover self-referential meaning.
Olivier Messiaen has played a major role in shaping my identity as an artist by the pure inspiration of his genius and creativity. The final 4 chords of his masterpiece for organ, Dieu Parmi Nous, a simple progression with only the bass voice moving, provide the source material for this tribute composition.
What interested me was what if each note of the chord was given its own spectral identity? What new language would emerge? Thanks to a development grant from the Chalmers Foundation, I was afforded the time to not only investigate and realize these potentials, but also study the instruments of the orchestra to find novel ways to express this language.
Resonance Unfolding 2 is often dense and frenetic. Harmonies unfold, like a kaleidoscope, in a constant state of coming and going until the final resonance is reached, and achieves full saturation.