The composer writes:
For many years, I have been fascinated by visual, literary and musical works that employ a transformative process to make simple, ordinary materials gradually, almost imperceptibly, change from one form to another, creating, at the same time, a single, dynamic overall shape. These works all have a close relationship to math and sciences, especially geometry, set theory, physics, chemistry, linguistics and cognition. Examples include the Metamorphosis series of pictures by M.C. Escher (a process explained in his theoretical work “Regular Division of the Plane”); the short dramatic and prose works of Samuel Beckett; J.S. Bach’s Musical Offering; and, more recently, music related to acoustical experiments with wave energy phenomena such as the Doppler Effect. TRANS is one of several experimental pieces I have written utilizing these concepts to create a musical experience akin to these works and physical effects. The piece is built from a limited set of highly restricted materials used to create semi-repetitive patterns with built-in transformative processes to make each line gradually but constantly evolve. Individual parts are arranged into repetitive chains of materials that proceed at different rates of speed, providing an always-changing context for the other parts, so that the overall whole evolves as a shape while at the same time the relationship between the parts gradually changes. In the case of TRANS, my aim was that the tightly structured process would create a music that is very involving and transports the listener from one place to another, like the works that inspired it.
Jack Van Zandt is a Los Angeles-based composer of music for concerts, public spaces, and gallery installations, as well as TV, film, and advertising. He is the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Composers Forum. He attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and Cambridge University (UK) and studied composition with Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, Peter Racine Fricker and Thea Musgrave. His concert music has been performed in the USA and in Europe, where he lived and worked for 20 years. His commercial music, composed in partnership with Joel Wachbrit, appears frequently on national broadcast and cable television.