In 2007 I completed Equilibrium and shared it here on the forum. This new recording and score represent a significant overhaul that I've spent the past couple of months working on. My initial intention was just to use the Garritan Steinway to render a new recording, but found myself making many changes to the orchestration, and after much sweat, I think I've finally come to a place where I'm satisfied.
Equilibrium for Large Orchestra and Piano (2007, revised 2009)
Below I've included some of the compositional ideas I used for those interested. The render was done in Sonar 8 PE using GPO, JABB, and the Garritan Authorized Steinway.
Please take a look and listen. I am happy to answer any questions regarding the piece or my recording techniques.
Equilibrium – core harmonic and melodic ideas
The original seeds for the harmony are shown above in examples a-d. The primary form is example a, and b is its intervallic inversion.
In c we see an extension by way of combining the previous two. In example d, we have a variation that begins to have some prominence at about the halfway mark of the piece (Rehearsal letter N). These ideas are all related by the incorporation of the interval of a major third with the interval of a minor second. In the last case, the second is nested inside of the third.
Example e shows the M3+m2 idea represented as a scalar passage. This type of scale does not repeat at the octave, an idea that began to fascinate me while working on the second movement of Vesuvius, where I incorporated a scale consisting of the repeated intervals m2+m2+m3.
Opening bars, incorporating ideas a-e
Another important motif is shown in example f (top) where a chromatic scale is altered with occasional octave displacements. This idea can be found on almost every page of the score, and especially in the piano part.
The last big piece of the puzzle comes with what I like to call a mutation filter. It usually comes in the form of a very simple rule or set of rules that is applied sparingly to ideas that have already been put to paper. One such rule that comes up often in Equilibrium is the simple swapping of two adjacent notes in a melody.
Octave displacement and note-swap mutations
The lines for the piano in bar 240 and the clarinet in bar 248 are chromatic scales with octave displacements (idea f), further altered by note-swap mutations, circled in purple. The idea of the octave displacements can in fact be thought of as another mutation filter, and is one I employ frequently in other works.
A combination of ideas
In this final example, the piano combines ideas e and f in a flurry of notes that wind downward in two waves. The chromatic line (highlighted in orange) begins on the high G#, and descends by minor 9ths, ascends by minor 7ths, then descends again before alternating octaves carry the line to the lowest register. The green brackets highlight sections of the melody that contain the M3+m2 construct in four- and five-note groups.
Thank you for listening. I would be very appreciative of any comments or criticism.