As we get ready for Saturday’s show at the MATA Festival, Taylor Brook gives some insight into his piece, Against the Morning. Come check it out this weekend at Roulette!
The Talea Ensemble will be giving the US premiere of my recent composition, Against the Morning, as part of the MATA festival this Saturday night at Roulette in Brooklyn. This piece explores the possibilities of a “what-if?” genre of contemporary music, as I began the work by posing the question “what would Schoenberg have written if he had composed his orchestral piece Farben today?” How would Schoenberg have explored the same coloristic ideas now that the normative palette of timbres and tunings have expanded so much in contemporary music? Although these questions are both faulty in nature and purely hypothetical, they allow me to face these great, imposing works with an attitude of curiosity and playfulness.
Against the Morning begins with Schoenberg’s famed five-note “Farben Chord”. Instead of the slow canonic modulations of the harmony in the original, rather the chord is treated as a block of sound to be parsed, expanded, developed and reshaped. The music then takes Schoenberg’s thematic material and reworks it into a microtonal passacaglia that explores the orchestration possibilities on simple melodic lines. What follows I will leave for the music to show you itself.