Listen Archive

Synecdoche

Program note for Synecdoche

I love writing melodies, and in Synecdoche, I decided to use a single melodic line as the foundational “first stage” of composing the piece. The remaining components of the musical fabric – composite rhythm, counterpoint, harmony, timbre, etc. – were layered onto this main melody, which is passed between instruments throughout the piece.

The foundational melodic line is harmonized in two ways. In the outer sections of the piece, the harmonies are derived from a synthetic spectrum that I imagined radiating symmetrically above and below each note in my main melody. The interaction of these two constructs – the through-composed foundation melody and the fixed spectrum – is the main source of counterpoint in the piece. In the middle portion of Synecdoche, centered on the piano cadenza, harmonies are derived from the main melody itself.

Formally, Synecdoche has a relatively traditional narrative: an introduction, an expository opening section (with a recurring theme), a contrasting middle portion, a return of the opening harmonic and contrapuntal behavior, and a coda.



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