Two Suites - Late November 2023

"Two Suites" (CD) is scheduled to be released late November of this year (2023). These are two suites (5 & 4 movements respectively) of fully-composed music for electronic orchestra.  Not synthesized acoustic instruments but a full-on electronic orchestra. My new orchestra as I refer to it. 

The inspiration came after I was notified of budget cuts at my University and that I would be loosing some of my classes to those cuts. It seemed to open a door to a vault of memories of my early life as a composer - and the ideas exploded into being. I open the considerable library of sound-options in Logic (some of which I use for production) and began exploring, starting with rhythms and effects, improvising on the keyboard. Immediately melodies and “sounds” were firing in my imagination and it was simply a matter of discovering and creating them. Some of the “sounds” took a while to find, modify and fully actualize but it was full of wonderful discoveries. In the process I was constantly reminded of the feeling of total compositional immersion from my very early teens through my mid twenties. So in recognition of that, all of the titles refer to either the memory-feelings, words, events or writing moments from that period. 

There is a spoken work movement in Suite II that also has many references to that time and earlier. 

Hotaru makes use of an acoustic guitar which was necessary to create the feeling of driving through the Shenandoah valley (from NC to NYC) with a Shinto priest. When it turned to twilight, thousands of fireflies lit up the meadows, hillsides and valleys in the cooling air. I asked him the word for firefly….Hotaru. BTW - I was probably 25ish and we were driving up in my VW bug which was running on shear will power. 

Each movement uses traditional forms, sonata, binary, modified ternary and through-composed (meaning once the main motif is created it is developed without returning to the main motif) I am a firm believer in the development of an idea and seeing it through to its logical (or emotional)  conclusion. You will rarely hear anything repeated verbatim in this album but it will be apparent when things return, so please listen carefully. 

I make abundant use of polyrhythms and pan-tonality in Two Suites. Terms from 20th century art music. Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more rhythms that may or may not be related. In this case they exist together then one will split off and become dominant for a while then work itself back into the mix. 

Pan-tonality (pan-harmony) - just like polyrhythm, means two or more tonalities existing at the same time. As mentioned above, one will become dominant for a time until it's reabsorbed into the mix. Two Suites is not A-tonal, even though there are complex dissonances there is always a resolution to those dissonances. 

Since there is no category for modern classical/art music It will be listed under “Avant-Garde” on streaming services.  

See the accompanying video for a brief discussion and examples. 

Thank you for listening.   R

This wonderful cover was created and designed by Sean de Burca, UK. 


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