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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trinity (for Expanded Orchestra)

  • Author(s): Winokur, Robert Michael
  • Advisor(s): Labor, Tim
  • et al.

Trinity is a large-scale piece of program music for a symphony orchestra expanded to include two electric guitars (doubling on acoustic guitar), piano (doubling on Fender Rhodes Electric Piano), electric bass guitar and drumset. The main philosophical impetus for this piece is the programmatic depiction (in the manner of a tone poem) of a concept which is based on and combines archetypal characters drawn primarily from literary sources. This dissertation is titled Trinity and uses the thesis that the three chosen archetypes, The Architect, The Leper and the Gunslinger, are three aspects of the same über-archetype which is representative of both humanity the human individual - this concept being a composite of Ayn Rand's "Fountainhead," Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch and god (as a human construct). The description of the trinity is - in a similar manner to Christian belief - the description of an individual through the lens of three contrasting, complementary and singular personalities, which is both god and human; it is a deified version of the Übermensch as represented by the Architect, Leper and Gunslinger.

This piece utilizes symmetrical and asymmetrical synthetic scales (and their associated aggregates), multiple and simultaneous tonal centers, drone and repetition/sequencing and looping and a rhythmic concept which uses the employment of multiple and simultaneous rhythmic cells in various meters and subdivisions (of the meter) in a manner reminiscent of melodic counterpoint. Trinity is five movements long and arranged similar to a Romantic-era symphony- an introduction, followed by three movements - one for each archetype, then a finale. The five movements are bookended by related music intended to function in a musical analogue to "Once upon a time..." and "...happily ever after."

Included with the musical score is a prose document - which explicates the philosophical and metaphorical construct and associated personal implications and which details the compositional techniques used - and a folder containing audio files of the entire score. The audio files were created using live musicians and MIDI-realizations.

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