Suggesting Motion (1997)
for Chamber Orchestra
Duration: 12 min
Instrumentation: 1,1,1,1 -1,1,1,0 – 2 perc., piano - Strings Quintet (2 vlns, 1 vla, 1 vc, 1 db)
Premiere: Musica Nova, March 21, 1999; Kansas City, MO
Michael Isadora, conductor
Program Note: Suggesting Motion, a piece in five movements in an arch form, is constructed upon kinetic principles of the natural world. In arranging the order of the movements I chose to make the outer movements the two strongest kinetic forces: Gravity and Momentum. The piece is then framed by a force which inhibits motion and a force which unleashes motion. Both forces suggest motions which cannot be controlled - throw a pencil in the air and it will fall back to earth - a predictable motion, just like the inevitability of an avalanche.
The second and fourth movements, Chain Reaction and Fusion, suggest motion that must be prompted - you tip the first domino, you force the atoms together (or in this musical fusion, it is the forcing together of a chromatic and a whole tone scale). The third movement, Inertia, stands in the center of the piece to suggest the absence of motion. Even though individual musical elements are in motion they never leave the original harmony established in the beginning. My Interest in these scientific terms for principles commonly taken for granted, is both in their literal and metaphoric meaning. To suggest is to introduce a thought - and in this case, a new way to view a world both hidden and obvious, both playful and menacing.