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Awarded a "Special Citation of Excellence" by the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) 2013 Composition Competition - http://codaweb.org/news/coda-composition-contest-reaches-finals
Written in 2011 by Steve Kornicki, "Fanfare in a Continuum of Gradual Momentum" is a five-minute orchestral crescendo utilizing three distinct layers of instrumental sound to reach a powerful climactic finale.
**The recording heard here is a computer generated arrangement of the score using the Vienna Symphonic Library.**
The title reflects the nature of the composition's texture and dynamic contour. The orchestra's choirs are divided into groups - continuous pulsing and oscillating sounds (2nd violins, violas, cellos, basses, harp, vibraphone, tam-tam played with sticks, oboes, bassoon 1), wave-like sustained tones (flutes, clarinets, bassoon 2, horns, trumpets, trombones, first violins) and pointillistic, interruption sounds (piccolo, tuba, timpani, tubular bells, snare drum, bass drum). Towards the climax, all of the instruments coalesce into a crashing, rhythmic fanfare.
Harmonically, the instrumental parts are based upon two twelve tone-rows chosen for their tonal compatibility that are stretched out in overlapping proportions for the length of the work (listed below with temporal placement). The two rows are equally distributed amongst the orchestral parts, interacting within a pre-determined form These parts are then vertically arranged to produce layered intervallic combinations by elongating the tones of the rows for the five minute duration through extended repetition and sustenance. The piece begins with a minor 2nd interval of B/C and ends with the minor 3rd interval of G/Bb. Denser harmonies are produced in between the two poles by the successive layering and varying entrances of the instrumental groupings.
Overlapping tone-rows from 0' 00'' - 5' 00'' at 126-130 quarter notes per minute --
B E F# Eb C# Bb G# C F A D G
C D C# G# B F# Eb F G E A Bb
The piece is based on the mathematical concept of self similarity (the property of having a substructure analagous or identical to an overall structure) and fractal geometry. Objects in the real world that can be defined as fractals (coastlines, sea shells, snow flakes, crystals, leaves and plants, etc.) all display aspects of self similarity. The musical processes utilized in this music can be seen as analogous to this principle because the work’s resulting textural structures consist of many instances of the same or similar material, ultimately defining the overall form. The self-similarity effect of the music may also create a "suspended time frame" experience for the listener.
In late 2004/early 2005 I developed a system of music composition that results from pre-determined structures displaying clear and concise musical processes. The compositions consist of contrapuntal textures of non-melodic lines built from sustained tones and repeated single note patterns with a tonal or modal harmonic foundation. Works composed in this manner are fundamentally about the processes and reveal an obvious interplay of harmonic motion through the layering of individual tones. Musical interest is created through texture and dynamics. Harmonic motion is given precedence in a manner that is actually heard and perceived by the listener because of the "harmony generating" nature of the compositional writing and process. The compositions avoid tertian harmony in favor of a new harmonic motion created from the stretching out of the tones over a long duration. This compositional method can provide a model for a new form of listening to music through the unity of the compositional processes and the auditory effects (i.e. the music is about the tones and harmonic motion).
- Steve Kornicki
All music and text, copyright 2011 Steve Kornicki