Year Authored (or revised): 


Instrumentation : 

oboe, cello, piano

Duration (min): 


Coloring Sound’s Scent is an etude in harmony (despite its largely contrapuntal texture). I created a series of harmonic “screens” starting on the overtone series of three fundamentals: Ab, C and F. Subsidiary pitch-screens were then built on the third and fifth partials of each of these. The resultant strings of notes, fixed in their registers following their position as partials, were then used as the basis for the creation of melodies and chords. Whenever common tones in a particular register exist between screens (which is often), they became possible pivots for modulations from one string to another.

Throughout the piece there is hopefully a sense of deep harmonic rooting, even progression, even when the implied fundamentals are not being played. But those progressions can move in unusual, less traditional ways. In this way I’ve hoped to explore new sounds and open my ears to a different harmonic palette from my usual. Having said the above, the real point of the work (and its attendant technique) is to create, as its title implies, a world of sensuous sound, rich in ornament and arabesque, impressionistic in tone and texture. By the end of the work, the oboe’s opening melody returns, now harmonized in a chordal accompaniment, and the result is almost bluesy to my ear.

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