Many Universes (2019)
Instrumentation: chamber orchestra
Duration: 14 minutes
When starting a new piece, I like to give myself a challenge, usually in the form of a question. For Many Universes, an unusual question came to mind: “Could I write a groovy passacaglia?” The possibility of combining a Renaissance-born musical form with modern dance rhythms was the inspiration I needed to begin the piece. However, the more I worked on Many Universes, I realized it was not just a dance, but the start of a theme and variations. Unlike a typical theme and variations, the theme is not a genuine melody, but a collection of ideas, particular types of chords and theatrical gestures. Through the variations these ideas interact differently, fuse together, or disappear for some time. Each variation becomes its own musical universe, filled with poignant emotions and a menagerie of orchestral colors.