When I first discovered Morton Feldman’s music as a teenager I remember having a conflicted reaction to it. While I was attracted to the quietude, shimmering colors and sheer sonic beauty of his music I also found that his glacially developing structures and ultra-expansive timescales were often difficult to absorb. After my recent discovery of a number of recorded interviews he gave later in his life, although I still didn’t feel aesthetically close to Feldman’s music, I now discovered a conceptual and intellectual closeness. I became especially fascinated by how Feldman’s ideas with regard to process and structure were modeled more on abstract expressionist paintings and Persian rugs than any music. Perhaps in making extra-musical objects his reference point, he had eluded the struggle of reconciling ones musical personality with the musical past and present. In Chroma I set out to write a piece that tries to fuse my own musical vocabulary with Feldman’s painterly approach. I tried to treat musical ideas as if they were strips of color, building a structure that creates tension through juxtaposing distinctive materials in ever changing ways. Chroma also draws inspiration from my own extra musical interests, primarily contemporary literature. I was reading David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel The Pale King while working on Chroma and was struck by the unique way Wallace employed nonlinear narratives to gradually reveal who characters are and how they’ve come to know each other.

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ACO Performances

22nd Underwood New Music Readings (2013)

April 8, 2013 8:30 am
Miller Theater at Columbia University

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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.

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