Brittle Fracture attempts to depict this type of structural failure in musical terms. Inspired by modulation and temporal manipulation techniques commonly employed in pop music production, the piece is based on a simple four-note piano theme that is performed as if it were being processed through an echo unit. The piano’s resulting spectral content is selectively captured, extended, and transformed by the orchestral instruments, effectuating a long-range rhythmic, melodic, registral, articulative, and dynamic intensification. Throughout this textural crescendo, the music undergoes various types and degrees of stress that attempt to disrupt the constant musical flow. At the peak of the process the music finally buckles under its own weight, causing an abrupt rupture in the structure. A series of these fractures occurs, slicing between two contrasting musical surfaces until the inevitable and complete dissolution of their constituent materials.
This work was originally composed as a work for chamber orchestra (18 players) in 2013 as part of a residency with the CUNY Graduate Center’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. It received its premiere in that form on May 8, 2013 in Elebash Hall, New York, with Whitney E. George conducting. Brittle Fracture has been awarded a 2013 Sir Ernest MacMillan Award by the SOCAN Foundation.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
Receive the latest news
Join Our Mailing List!
Get notified about new events, opportunities and the latest ACO happenings