12:45pm PST // I have been spending lots of time whittling away at my thesis composition, and today I’m going to tell you a little bit about the piece. It’s for cello, vibraphone and piano. Although this is a chamber ensemble piece, it has symphonic qualities in that its four movements follow a symphonic structure. Fast, Slow, Scherzo, Fast. Introductory, introspective, light and frivolous, and adventuresome.
As the piece begins, the audience hits the ground running. The first movement is energetic and contrapuntal, and it’s the most tonally stable of the four. The second is ponderous and introverted in terms of melody, harmony and rhythm. It uses lots of space and is built on several small thematic cells, introduced throughout the beginning of the movement. The third movement is a scherzo that uses the 24 repeating pitch-class values of the Fibonacci sequence in its melody. In spite of its technical origins, this movement is quick and playful, and complements the heavier mood of the second movement. Rhythm is the finale’s engine. This movement is filled with syncopation which recalls and pushes further the rhythmic energy of its counterpart, movement one. Included here are elements of the other three movements, as well as elements that are indigenous to this one alone.
I have a programmatic story outline that I may or may not use with the piece. I started thinking about the story only a few weeks ago, after most of the material had already been written. I don’t want to commit to using the story now because it would change the way I think about the piece before I’m done writing it (the first movement is only about half-way done). When I’m finished with the piece, I’ll go back to see if I can fine-tune the story so it complements the piece without limiting interpretation possibilities… which may or may not be possible. I’m not too attached to the story from an artistic perspective; it’s more of a personal interpretation of my own, and it’s definitely not needed to understand and enjoy the piece.
It’s going to be performed at my master’s recital on May 2nd at San Jose State University, at 1:30pm. It may also be performed on Tuesday, April 28, at 12:30 for the Listening Hour at SJSU. Both of the concerts are free, and I would be pleased to see you there!