ouroboros

sinfonietta version - 2015, ca 13 minutes

(click here for the orchestra version)

 

excerpt 1: explosive then hazy

excerpt 2: dense and climactic

excerpt 3: calm, building slowly

full recording:

Composed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's National Composers Intensive. Recorded by ensemble wild Up, conducted by Christopher Rountree.

instrumentation - sinfonietta

fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn, trp, trb, pno, 2vln, vla, vcl, db

click below to see score

program note

Ouroboros is a juxtaposition between the never-ending activity, energy, and movement of our world against a lone user trying to make his/her way through it. I depict the energy ideas as ostinato gestures throughout the winds and strings, though the texture is delineated between sounding pitches and nonpitched techniques (key-clicks, bowing on bridge, air streams). Against this, the cello and bass carry a somber tune through the introduction – a slow and sustained sound that contributes an emotional, humanizing element. The piece unfolds as a gradual development of these textures, and although there are some uplifting relief-moments that shine through, I consider this to be my most depressing piece. I think of this music as in a constant state of cycle, devouring and recreating itself over and over, until the brass eventually crush the ensemble as things build to the conclusion.