Serastro began as an exploration of the musical properties of the string orchestra. In an attempt to maximize musical interest, the numerous choices in terms of articulation, tone colour, and dynamic range are exploited in the three movements. Contrasts are also achieved through solo versus tutti orchestration, the use of pizzicato versus arco bowings, and the technique of antiphony.
The compositional language is derived from both traditional and contemporary harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic principles and techniques. An important characteristic of the harmonic language is the independent use of major and minor triadic structures which have been removed from their traditional reliance on key and mode. Musical direction is then produced by the creation of various new progressions and patterns of the triads.
The construction of melody is related to this non-functional triadic principle and freely follows the predetermined harmonic patterns. Complementing the harmonic and melodic language is the utilization of additive and traditional rhythmic presentations. In the construction of both melody and accompaniment, rhythmic alternations of two or three beat groupings provide the motivation for musical expression. The result effect is spontaneous rhythmic energy.
Instrumentation: String Orchestra
Duration: 13 minutes