NOTES ABOUT THE ALBUM
Several Times represents three primary compositional aspects that evolved in my music spanning more than four decades: temporal continuity (how time is perceived and experienced), the use of calculated and purposeful redundancy (repetition of pitch, motives, and structural units), and potential for expanded relations (networks) between works. Although ‘stylistic’ differences exist between these works separated by many years, I believe that approaches to time, repetition, and connectivity can and should be seen as common and prominent aspects affecting musical content, structure, perception, and expression in many of my works since the late 60s.
Two decades apart, String Quartet No. 1 (1966) and String Quartet No. 2 (1986) utilize different pitch and rhythmic resources but have a simplicity due to repetition of internal elements. No. 1 has a clear non-tonal, modernist, and Post- Webern orientation, exploring extended sonic resources of the strings while No. 2, composed for the Composers String Quartet and premiered at Festival Miami at the University of Miami in 1986, focuses on pitch centricities – implying ‘tonal’ relations due to deliberate and calculated use of repetition, which is also extended to structural units in the organization of the overall form.
Only separated by 8 years, Sonata No. 1 (2002), composed for Amy Tarantino-Trafton and D-Bop: Sonata No. 2a (2010), composed for Mia Vassilev, likewise have different pitch orientations, not to mention rhythmic identity and motion. However, both have in common the potential of created connection to subsequent ‘relatives’ when other instruments are added. Thus, Sonata No. 1 became a partner in Sonata for Clarinet and Piano when, at the request of Amy Tarantino-Trafton and Dimitri Ashkenazy, the significant clarinet part was added in 2004. It also became a relative to Sonata Ibis when the violin and cello were also added to the clarinet sonata version in 2005.
D-Bop: Sonata No. 2a was composed using and expanding a ‘D octave’ motive from the opening recitative, “The Lovely Octave,” in my 10 minute opera Opera 101 (Opera Spoofa), composed in 2009. The structure of this sonata is seen in a diagram representing a flow chart of different sections (letters) and number of measures for each:
a13 c8 b13 c13
a8 d5 b8 d8 c13 d21
a8 e5 b8 e8 c5 e13 d13 e21
In addition, this sonata becomes a relative of Sonata 2b (2011) that utilizes, in its organization, sections having same ‘Fibonacci’ proportions with similar or varied material – but largely in a different order. The connectivity expands even further when Sonata 2a and Sonata2b are played together simultaneously becoming Sonata 2c for 2 pianos.
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