A New Home is a multi-movement musical composition written for a chamber orchestra of flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in C, trombone, bass trombone, percussion (1), pianoforte, and strings. The duration of the entire piece is approximately fourteen minutes (movement 1: four minutes; mvt. 2: four minutes and thirty seconds; mvt. 3: five minutes and thirty seconds). As an exercise in compositional experimentation, some of the musical techniques explored throughout the piece are harmonic planing or parallelism, ostinati, modality, chromatic dissonance, thematic transformation, mixed meter, and syncopation, as well as issues of orchestral blend, balance, and color.
The first movement, ironically titled “Don’t Panic,” highlights my initial anxieties on experimentation by creating hectic textures. The movement is structured around two main alternating sections of chromatic, chordal dissonance with more modal, melodic syncopation in addition to a developmental section, but a sense of rhythmic groove is prominent throughout. The second movement, “Still Here,” is a darker, more sensitive music as it explores various settings of its main thematic material interspersed with march-like episodes and a related secondary theme. The themes are organized around a diatonic scale that omits one pitch to comprise a six-note scale. The third movement, “Change of State,” recalls the modality and rhythmic liveliness of the first movement, and it bears a thematic relationship to the second movement. Much of the material also revolves around scales and mediant relationships to comprise an opening theme, a groove section, and an ethereal, glassy texture which ends the movement. Essentially, the piece closes with a calmer music in contrast to the brute force that opened the piece.
- A New home: a composition for chamber orchestra