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Resonance Unfolding 2: Homage 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 sound structure - in essence, that the musical materials come from the sounds themselves.  Lurking within this concept lies a kind of moral obligation - to free sound from cultural construction, and allow it to discover self-referential meaning.


As a purist stance, it is impossible to perceive a sound without some context of culture.  However, as a kind of re framing towards looking at material, I find the idea inspiring, and is the creative fuel behind Resonance Unfolding 2.


As well, 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?  And how do these different identities relate to each other - how does an individual identity change in context?  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 runs for the majority at a blistering pace.  Harmonies unfold, like a kaleidoscope, in a constant state of coming and going until the final resonance is achieved, and achieves full saturation.

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