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Geometries


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   Geometries, for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, is a two-movement work in which I use musical lines to imitate simple geometric ideas. The first movement, Fractals, begins structured as a hybrid of a fugue and a canon, where the theme is imitated simultaneously at the same pitch and at different pitches. It is first stated with the clarinet leading the right hand of the piano, then with the cello leading the left hand of the piano, and finally with the violin leading the right hand of the piano. Eventually, an acceleration in the texture yields a grand statement of the theme, with the violin soaring above. The material used in this movement is extremely economical, consisting of little more than the single theme, but through its saturation and recursion, it is able to spin itself into a wide variety of shapes and textures.
   The second movement, Tangents, is a "moto perpetuo" that traces single lines as they swoop and curve between the instruments. Often the piano will initiate a gesture that moves towards a single point where the clarinet, violin, and cello begin a new line, as if emerging from the piano. Complimenting the quickly flowing lines, a sweeping melody is revealed, first in the clarinet and later passed around the other instruments. In a similar manner to the mirroring in Fractals, the lines in Tangents begin to multiply as the music builds towards the end, creating a rich harmonic glow around an otherwise simple passage and powering the music to a triumphant close.
   Geometries was commissioned by Nathan Cole and the UBS Chamber Music Festival in Lexington, Kentucky for their festival in August, 2010. The recording and video below is of the premiere on August 28, 2010 in Lexington, KY, with Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Nathan Cole, violin; Priscilla Lee, cello; and Alessio Bax, piano.

   Download a sample of the score here.




Movement 1 - Fractals:   
Movement 2 - Tangents:   




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