Salt began its life in 2005, when I found myself driven by a chord of six notes. First I made a progression moving the chord by parallel motion. Then I changed the inner voices, rotated the notes, inverted the chord, juxtaposed it with its mirror and other transpositions of the chord, and added more notes to the chord. To color the chord, I added non-harmonic tones as ornamentation. These non-harmonic tones normally resolve to the harmonic tones, and thus end up doubling the chord tones themselves. In short, I experimented with all the possibilities opened up by this one chord. The idea of transforming a single chord without losing its fundamentals, combined with the sparkling image of the ornaments, reminded me of the properties of salt. Thus was born the title of the composition. Just as salt preserves its taste no matter what it is mixed with, the essence of the original chord of the piece is not lost throughout the entire work. In order to enhance the metaphor, the electronics used in the piece—built on the resonance model of the main chord with spectral transformation—employ the actual sound of dropping, spreading and touching salt. Finally, the title Salt also reflects my Christian faith and my musing on the words “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Thus the piece has the touch, taste and also the meaning of salt.

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ACO Performances

Memphis Symphony Orchestra Earshot New Music Readings (2009)

May 20, 2009 3:00 pm
Canon Center for the Performing Arts

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