Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2015

Salon preview: Matthew James Briggs

Krzeminski's Star, for violin, marimba, and electronics Centaurus X-3 (4U 1118-60) is an X-ray pulsar with a period of 4.84 seconds. It was the first X-ray pulsar to be discovered, and the third X-ray source to be discovered in the constellation Centaurus. The system consists of a neutron star orbiting a massive, O-type supergiant star dubbed Krzeminski’s star after its discoverer. Matter is being accreted from the star onto the neutron star, resulting in X-ray emission. (Wikipedia) The idea that a gigantic star can exist out there, otherwise invisible to us except for a regular burst of X-ray radiation every 4.84 seconds, is truly spectacular. This piece attempts to characterize the sense of wonder and mystery of being such a small creature in such a large universe. The piece has three internal movements in the form: slow-fast-slow. There is no silence between movements as the electronics make a sonic transition from one to the next. The first movement sets up the mysterious m…

Salon preview: Ian McKnight

Reborn in Flame, The Death and Rebirth of a Phoenix, for flute, alto flute and cello I wrote this piece as a tone poem depicting the life cycle of a phoenix. The piece opens with the old, dying phoenix struggling to hold on to life. This struggle is represented by the opening theme first stated by the cello. The piece relaxes between increasingly dramatic statements of this line as the bird drifts in and out of consciousness, the mysterious dreams expressed by the augmented chords in the cello, and a slower, drifting variation of the opening theme in the flutes. After the final struggle, the music dies away as the phoenix burns to ash. The music builds into a lament for the dead bird in the form a Gregorian chant. This chant dies away and the dream theme returns in the flute as the ashes are blown away revealing an egg. The excitement brews with the augmented chords starting in the alto flute and joined by the flute and cello. This breaks into trills in t…