Title

Star Cycle

Lead Author Major

Music

Format

Composer's Club Concerts

Faculty Mentor Department

Music

Abstract/Artist Statement

Star Cycle is, at its heart, a tone poem in three movements that depicts some significant points of interest in a star’s life. The first movement, Nebula, begins far away from our own star in an interstellar cloud of gas and dust hundreds of light years in diameter. The matter in this cloud starts to collect and gravitate to certain points until there is the critical mass needed to start a fusion reaction, thus the star is born. Beginning softly with a chorale, the movement has slowly evolving melodies that eventually climax on the main theme of the piece (Mi-Fa-Mi-Re-Do-Ti- Do). From there an interlude moves us into the next stage of this star’s life, as the leftover debris settles into a disk that over the course of millions of years forms the celestial bodies we know as planets. The second movement, Main Sequence, takes a closer look at a planet not unlike our own. This movement features uplifting melodies and harmonies that brings a bittersweet take on the throws of life in the development of a young ecosystem. As the life on this planet, and the piece, develops, we are reminded of a similar recurring harmonic idea that is recolored by new melodies and rhythmic contouring on each iteration. Preceding the third movement, an interlude similar to the interlude in between movements I and II reminds us, and a civilization that has evolved and developed on this planet, where we really are on a cosmic scale. While the millions if not billions of years that the main sequence of a star can last is a long time, nothing lasts forever. The third movement, Nova, explores the range of emotions that the civilization now faces as they realize their star’s life is coming to an end. The piece moves through a series of rhythmic grooves and polymodal textures as the civilization tries to escape their home, now volatile and unstable. After a bombastic texture that quickly alternates between pizzicato/staccato and legato styles, the climactic theme of the first movement is restated before the texture thins down to just pizzicato in the strings. A final melody is played by the clarinet as the civilization accepts their fate, and just before the star explodes spectacularly into a new cloud of gas and dust, time stops, and the piece ends.

Location

Recital Hall

Start Date

28-4-2015 7:30 PM

End Date

28-4-2015 9:30 PM

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Apr 28th, 7:30 PM Apr 28th, 9:30 PM

Star Cycle

Recital Hall

Star Cycle is, at its heart, a tone poem in three movements that depicts some significant points of interest in a star’s life. The first movement, Nebula, begins far away from our own star in an interstellar cloud of gas and dust hundreds of light years in diameter. The matter in this cloud starts to collect and gravitate to certain points until there is the critical mass needed to start a fusion reaction, thus the star is born. Beginning softly with a chorale, the movement has slowly evolving melodies that eventually climax on the main theme of the piece (Mi-Fa-Mi-Re-Do-Ti- Do). From there an interlude moves us into the next stage of this star’s life, as the leftover debris settles into a disk that over the course of millions of years forms the celestial bodies we know as planets. The second movement, Main Sequence, takes a closer look at a planet not unlike our own. This movement features uplifting melodies and harmonies that brings a bittersweet take on the throws of life in the development of a young ecosystem. As the life on this planet, and the piece, develops, we are reminded of a similar recurring harmonic idea that is recolored by new melodies and rhythmic contouring on each iteration. Preceding the third movement, an interlude similar to the interlude in between movements I and II reminds us, and a civilization that has evolved and developed on this planet, where we really are on a cosmic scale. While the millions if not billions of years that the main sequence of a star can last is a long time, nothing lasts forever. The third movement, Nova, explores the range of emotions that the civilization now faces as they realize their star’s life is coming to an end. The piece moves through a series of rhythmic grooves and polymodal textures as the civilization tries to escape their home, now volatile and unstable. After a bombastic texture that quickly alternates between pizzicato/staccato and legato styles, the climactic theme of the first movement is restated before the texture thins down to just pizzicato in the strings. A final melody is played by the clarinet as the civilization accepts their fate, and just before the star explodes spectacularly into a new cloud of gas and dust, time stops, and the piece ends.