Travertine Hybrid #1 (2012)

FOR viola

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Travertine Hybrid #1 began as an etude for viola written for the NewArt/NewMusic event at Indiana University in 2012. There, at the Grunwald Gallery of Art, I encountered Eve Mansdorf’s Quarry (2007) and was struck by the tan and green depicting the rock. It reminded me of my visit to the Getty Center in LA a year earlier. The Getty’s impressive diffusion of travertine limestone throughout the campus led me to spend hours that day recording myself striking its surface. Travertine is partly hollowed out and produces a magnificent bell-like ringing. For this piece, I took spectrograms of the rock sound and cross-synthesized them with held notes in the viola, producing a new hybrid spectrum. The tonal material in this piece comes from three “harmonic reservoirs” made from hybrid chords containing the partials of both the limestone and the viola.

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