Isomorphisms

Duration - 12'

Instrumentation - Full orch - 

     2+pic.2+ca.2+bcl.2+dbl - 4.2.3.1 - perc(3) - hp - pno.cel - strings

After reading “Godel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter, I became interested in the idea of recursion as applied to music. Specifically, this piece is my attempt to create a sort of “strange loop”- something that generates meaning from its own self-containment. At both the small and large scales, Isomorphisms is derived from the gesture of a long rise followed by a quick decrease. The form of the piece is taken from this “wedge” gesture; multiple sections combine to form a large wedge of intensity, each section itself a wedge exploring an implication of the gesture as applied to various musical parameters and composed of its own small-scale wedges. At the microscopic level, the harmony is taken from this idea as well. Beginning with the notes of the E minor triad (the first letters of the names of Hofstadter’s muses), added to the set are the neighboring semitones above and below each note. Ideally, this piece should be conceived as a sort of fractal- a musical object where each cross section produces the same shape, all coming together to yield the same view at any angle or level of magnification.

Audio for this piece still to come.

escher hands.jpg

M.C. Escher - "Drawing hands"