Bassoon from TRIO IN 5-MOVEMENTS (COMPLETE)
VISIONS IN SPACE, Flute & Bassoon & Pianoforte
The Program Notes for the Piano Trio are as follows:
VISIONS OF SPACE IN 5 MOVEMENTA, 1983 & 2002
Visions-I The Acidic Rains of Venus - 1:00 Visions-2 The Frozen Lands of Andromeda - 1:30 Visions-3 The Dancing Asteroids - 1:30 Visions-4 Pleasures in Space Travel 1:30 Visions-5 The Rivers of Earth - 2:30
Combining the forces of chance or unpredictability with moments of predictable structure, the 5-movement ’Vision of Space’ has manifested. The unpredictable elements concern quasi-random pitch selection, duration, degrees of intensity and distribution in time. One result of this compositional approach is that tonality gets sidelined in preference of atonality.
Essentially, tonality is a particular expression of the general principles of relaxation of tension. This is a particular ’sound’ state that implies or demands resolution. Harmonically, the fundamental expression of tonality is the tonic/dominant relationship. When the harmonic underpinnings of a composition can be considered a derivative of this relationship or principle, in whole or part, for a short or long time, the music is considered tonal. Atonality then, refer to compositions in which the composer deliberately banishes tonality and admits all other tonal permutations as well as preserving the observable gestalts, musical syllogism, if you will or syntax.
The first 4 movements of the piano trio, (with bassoon substituting for the original bass clarinet version) were written in 1983 as part of my DMA docket of compositions. The work was premiered at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati that same year. It is dedicated to my illustrious composition professor, the late Prof Jonathan D. Krammer. The 5th movement was composed in February 2002.
The work as a whole shows economy and extreme concentration that reflects the minimalistic approach to composition. Expressions that could be dramatized over, say, 30 minutes are now summed up in a minute or so, with all units of syntactic structure appropriately and proportionally represented. The subtitle "Visions of Space" suggests a programmatic dimension. But they were appended after the fact, however, which makes them no less suggestive.
Dr. E. Gyimah Labi Seattle, WA USA October 2009
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