Compositions —

Listen to an excerpt

Crystal Fragments

2003 • 13 minutes • Orchestra 2222/2200/3 pc/hp/strings

The timeframes of various art forms has long fascinated me. A novel can take years to write, and generally takes hours to read. A feature film usually falls within a 1-2 hour length (similar to the length of a play) while the amount of time someone experiences a painting can vary considerably. Contemporary orchestra music usually falls within the 10'-20' framework or less (Murray Schafer once cynically titled a piece 'No Longer Than Ten Minutes' in response to a commission request for a shorter work), short poems can take just seconds to read. 

 

Crystal Fragments' thirteen movements vary in length from 20" to 2'40" (one movement only) and have a performed time of about thirteen minutes. My piece is inspired by the nine 'sentiments' found in East Indian art - romantic/erotic, humorous, pathetic, angry, heroic, fearful, disgustful, amazed and peaceful. (These were also the basis for John Cage's 'Sonatas and Interludes' for prepared piano - another source of inspiration for the work.) The movements all have distinct characters while also belonging to one overall shape - like a shattered crystal, their parts indicate a larger whole. 

 

 Crystal Fragments was commissioned by the Windsor Symphony through the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council.