Where Lines and Curves are Scattering

flute and piano

Where Lines and Curves are Scattering—2017, flute and piano, 11:00

The notion of musical gesture has been a source of longstanding fascination for me in my endeavors to better understand the complex relationships between surface detail and larger formal structure in music. Individual gestures can be quite short, yet they each can infer a sense of motion and distinctive expression. The succession of these small musical ideas creates a web of relationships as the music unfolds, informing our understanding of the larger musical narrative and formal design. For me, the notion of musical gesture also has a very direct correlation with other modes of human experience. In particular, each musical gesture can infer the physical gesture required to make sound, or can suggest a dancelike physical movement that correlates with the unfolding sound. Similarly, sonic gestures can often suggest visual patterns and geometric shapes.

Where Lines and Curves are Scattering is an exploration of musical gesture.  The composition incorporates a wide variety of similar, yet always different gestures that ascend and descend at various rates or, at times, move horizontally through the use of sustained tones or repetition. These gestures are distributed in a seemingly chaotic fashion in both their temporal and registral placement. Despite their seemingly disconnected and dissimilar construction, these gestures are, in their essence, merely variations of one another. As time unfolds, one hears linear musical relationships that create continuity amongst the gestures that are scattered throughout the composition.