Music for orchestra

Cumulus Nimbus

There was an examination for upper division study in music composition administered by Indiana University in South Bend. In one of the parts of the exam, the student was to provide a preliminary sketch for a new work. For my answer, my sketch was a work for an ensemble large enough to realize the sounding of layers of complex sonorities, overlapping each other with hairpin dynamics. I set the idea aside, not having any possible chance of getting it played or read, but kept listening to it in my head, by now, knowing it was for a large orchestra. A formal plan emerged, (An expansive Simple Ternary) one that was vitally related to the pitch logic and temporal structure for the piece:

A: With a 12 tone row as the source, row order is obscured by asymmetrical segmentation combined with verticalization. With the overlapping layers as mentioned above, rhythm is unfocussed, although there is a sense of gathering momentum that leads to...

B: The row is presented in a more linear fashion and rhythm is propulsive, full of drive. The energy potential and clarity of purpose hinted at in the A section has come into focus. There is a clear, culminating climax that leads too...

A' The material of the opening section is returned to, foreshortened and in retrograde.

The title is purposefully imprecise. Cumulo Nimbus is the proper name for a general type of "fluffy" white cloud and Cumulus is the precise name for a storm cloud. The A-B-A' plan described above is an imprecise metaphor for a natural entity that has potential energy and the components that may crystallize, (The A section) potential crystallized into explosive action (The B section) and a dissipation of energy, returning to the opening state. (The A' section)

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The Lullaby of My Sorrows

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On An Expanding Universe

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Relentless Time

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Nuit d’Etoiles

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Stratae

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Clarion

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Kaleidoscopic Image

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                                    The Sled

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Spreading the News – chamber opera

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solo classical guitar

 

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This One Goes to 11 for violin and viola          

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                  Lullaby for Viola Quartet

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                  Sarabande for cello and electric guitar


                

                  This One Goes to 11 for violin and cello

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                  This One Goes to 11 duo for violin and viola  

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                  This One Goes to 11 duo for violin and cello  

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