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Poems of Wildness


My research interests focus on the programmatic representation of the natural world and current environmental issues through acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Although I believe that music is an art that should creatively assert itself regardless of extra-musical associations, I find that the programmatic elements inspire listeners to evaluate the world with a fresh perspective. I aim to compose works that encourage my community to listen more closely to the world around them. While the tradition of nature-inspired works has precedents in the late-Romantic era, my work employs techniques unique to our time, including field recordings, and the processing of live electronics.

Poems of Wildness is a forty-five-minute composition for piano and electronics. It consists of twelve bitonal preludes that utilize all twenty-four keys. The inspiration behind these preludes is the San Gabriel Mountains, a mountain range that lies to the north of Los Angeles county, in California. Since impact of human activity is a crucial aspect of the mountain range’s history, I decided to make this interaction the focus of my set of preludes. Bitonal music is an appropriate musical tool for these preludes because of its potential to signify an opposition. The juxtaposition of the two keys in each prelude reflects man and man-made technology interacting with the San Gabriel Mountains.

My project is documented here with a (1) full-score, (2) a musical analysis of each prelude and a general analysis of the complete set, (3) a section explaining how the electronic portion of the project was conceived, and (4) a mockup audio recording. I also included a brief history of the San Gabriel Mountains as it relates to my music, and details about the history of music inspired by nature in the United States, as well as a section on the general history of bitonal music.

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