Year of composition: 2017
[In memoriam of Charles E. Ives]
Commissioned by the XII International Bands Competition 'Vila de la Sénia' as the test piece of the first section in its 2018 edition.
Is dedicated to José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana.
Length: 17 minutes
Scored for: large wind orchestra in extended space
Opus 21 - AA212017
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Study score (11.7 x 16.5)
Rental (8.3 x 11.7)
Resonant isles [in memoriam of Charles E. Ives] is written for a large-scale symphonic band placed in extended space, dividing the acoustic space of the stage in small woodwinds groups (isles-like), altogether with the brass and percussion spaced surrounding the audience. It was commissioned by the XII International Bands Competition "Vila de la Sénia", as the test piece of the first section in its 2018 edition. Is dedicated to José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana.
Resonant isles is cast in a binary system, almost in the way of a double variation form, that evolves constantly around two sonic gestures. These gestures are: the first four sounds introduced on "Die toteninsel" (The isle of the death) by Sergei Rachmaninoff, composed in 1908; altogether with the “perennial question of existence” extracted from “The unanswered question” by Charles E. Ives, also composed in 1908. These thematic materials are atomized into a multi-modal axis, entirely derived from the second mode of limited transposition by Messiaen (also known as diminished scale), and are developed almost like an entropic system, in a continue volatile state. Concepts like resonance, microtonality and multi-tuning are explored throughout the entire piece, bringing a completely new dimension into the wind-orchestra literature.
The title is taken from a concept proposed by Immanuel Kant in his book "Allgemeine naturgeschichte und theorie des himmels" (Universal natural history and theory of the heavens) published in 1755, in which the author coined the concept of “island Universe”. At that time no observational evidence to support this model existed but, surprisingly, Kant was right. Backing to the concept of “island Universe” and drawing down a parallelism, the title becomes a metaphor of the mankind itself, a lonely noisily “isle”, resounding in middle of the silent flux of the Universe.
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