Program Notes


Continuum was commissioned by WGUC to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.  The council for Cultural Planning and Development in Taiwan and the Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center provide funding for the presentation of the performing material.  Special thanks to Allen Sapp for the support.

The work essentially contains several facets of time elements and spectra of high overtones, envelops the whole sound space and unfolds in a circular fashion throughout the piece.  These wide-ranged harmonies, juxtaposed by wind chords, go in and out of phase as sound sculpture.  New sound materials con
tinuously metamorphose from previous moments.  The wavy lines threaded around the texture shift from ever-changing woodwind coloratura to the solid tour de force of the vibraphone-marimba, and then the xylophone figuration.  The arpeggio string chords interrupting such continuity, state again and again the circular motion in the space as well as the orchestral body.  The chromatic configuration gradually gives way to the power of one note, struck over and over again through different octaves.  Tutti create the sense of coming together as in a cadential point.

All the elements reappear in the 2nd half, more compact and abbreviated, in different orders.  Repetition with variations ascends like spirals, as ‘layers of time’ experienced in different circumstances in life.  The harmony lingers on, with infinite upwards movements on the surface level.  The static harmonic field stretches out into the continuum.

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