Polychrome literally means “being of many or various colors” – in this work, I wanted to explore this idea in a dramatic context. The “colors” of the work are bold and bright, and often come together in explosive combinations. In a formal sense, I fashioned the work out of shifting blocks of music. The first half of Polychrome features the alternation of two contrasting colors: the first is dazzling and bright, while the second is coarse and dark. With each return, the “color” of the music is shaded differently, like it is being viewed through a prism. After one final flash of brilliance, a shrieking chord in the woodwinds and strings signifies the beginning of the second half of the work. There are two “primary” colors in this section as well: bold, dramatic chords, which gradually migrate from the woodwinds to the whole orchestra; and a softer hue introduced by the lyrical oboe solo and hushed string chords. Gradually, these colors are brought together, and the climax of the work occurs where the roles become reversed – the music of the oboe solo is exploded into cacophonous bursts of woodwinds and strings, and the whole orchestra collapses onto a single note. After these incredibly violent collisions, the music fades away into slow, sustained echoes of earlier sounds.
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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