Patterns and Soundscapes explores the concept album format, popularized in the late 1960s and into modern times by artists such as the Who, Pink Floyd, and Frank Zappa. Specifically, I sought to adapt this format as a compositional process aimed towards the completion of a large-scale work that can be presented in album format and live performance. Further influenced by the concept album, I sought to create pieces consisting of similar musical techniques, motivic ideas, and harmonic language, so that each piece could be performed on its own or be combined as a multi-movement work.
I began writing this work in the spring of 2019, with “Colored Red Currents” for string quartet and “Conspiracy Wall” for two drum sets. After realizing that both pieces had a similar sound and style, I began to consider how they could function within an album format, and how they could also work together to form a large-scale musical work. I then decided that each subsequent piece, in addition to being composed of similar musical ideas, would be written in a manner that allowed for seamless transitions between the end of one and the beginning of another, and would also introduce the instrumentation making up the full ensemble in the last movement.
This work begins with the sparkling and rapid string quartet, “Colored Red Currents,” then moves to the energetic and groove based “Conspiracy Wall” for two drum sets, the meditative “Interlude” for solo viola and electronics, and the quick and mechanical “Beat Frequency” for alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and electronics. The work ends with “ALL IN,” where the full ensemble is finally formed, and all of the patterns and soundscapes come together to form a bombastic and wild finale.
- Patterns and Soundscapes: An Album in Five Movements for Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, String Quartet, Solo Viola, Two Drum Sets, and Electronics