Forbes Graham
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Jul 08, 2021

I've been working on a trio for flute, clarinet, and viola called The Color Bars. This piece exists beneath many layers - my initial inspiration for it was the work of Bridget Riley. I then thought about the color bars that used to appear on televisions as test patterns. When I was engaged in the preliminary sculpting of the piece, I created three pitch class sets and then created an algorithm to place them, measure by measure, in the work. Each measure is not exactly combinatorial, but in this way all 12 pitches are systematically used.

I finished my first draft and then began to work on the second one. As I have started to think about how I will breathe more life into this in my third draft, I have decided to open some windows.

The windowing process is simple - I select groupings of measure in which I can elongate time. The stretching will be one of the techniques I will use to create greater contrast and texture in the work, which I will discuss in upcoming posts.

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