| Natural Selection

 

Program Notes


Natural Selection is a piece for two speakers and ensemble including bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, piano, celeste, violin, viola, cello, and two double basses.  It is the product of working in Richard Lavenda’s Practicum in New Music course in the fall of 2010.  In this course, all members both compose and perform the works.  This non-conventional ensemble was a result of the members in the course.  The text is taken from a poem of the same name by Anne Shaw in her book Undertow.  This represents the third piece in an ongoing collaboration between myself and Anne.  Again, her work was chosen due to the striking and graphic imagery, her deliberate choices in language, and her juxtaposition of traditionally beautiful and horrific images which both blur the lines of beauty. 


I approached the spoken parts as if I was creating a fixed media track.  Words are highlighted, echoed in the ensemble, and distorted through overlapping human delays.  The melodic and harmonic language was an extension of that which I used in “now our grief is put away” for soprano and electronics wherein the major and minor second pitch classes were privileged as both melodic and harmonic intervals.  Also, 3-note trill figures and more aleatoric passages were employed as they have been entering in to my musical language more frequently as an outgrowth of the above stated melodic trend.


Performances


11.30.10

Students of the Shepherd School of Music at

Hirsch Rehearsal Hall, Shepherd School of Music,

Rice University, Houston, TX


09.17.11

Students of the Shepherd School of Music at

Duncan Recital Hall, Shepherd School of Music,

Rice University, Houston, TX


10.13.11

Students of the Shepherd School of Music at

Duncan Recital Hall, Shepherd School of Music,

Rice University, Houston, TX

[6’00”]