!Dance! is a five movement work that was conceptualized as an exploration in dance forms and rhythm, including meter and polyrhythm. Inspired by the dancing of the composer’s young daughter where rhythm, meter, and phrasing are never regular, !Dance! seeks to emulate this rhythmic freedom while exploiting the more typical characteristics of traditional dance forms. The primitive approach of additive rhythm is juxtaposed with a deliberate compositional technique where layering of seemingly contradictory rhythmic motifs creates a unified whole. The rhythms are in flux, contradicting and then reinforcing each other, generating surges of tension and relaxation.
Melody and harmony were also influenced by the child’s vocalizations. Presented in an immature state, melody is preoccupied with its own structure and somewhat oblivious to the harmonic material being presented simultaneously. The third movement maximizes this melodic freedom with harmonic material being derived completely from melodic tones. Throughout, harmony is created through the free use of triadic structures, modal or tonal scales, and melodic derivations, while never being far removed from rhythmic influence.
!Dance! explores the more innate facets of music advanced by the uninhibited and natural creative expression of a child.
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, and Contrabass
Duration: 16 minutes