Work Type: Classical, Orchestral
Instrumentation: wind ensemble
Duration: 10 minutes
Discourse on Natural Proportions makes extensive use of the Fibonacci series (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.) as a means of organizing pitch, rhythm, and structure. Its pitch set was generated by starting from a ‘home’ pitch and alternating up and down half-steps in accordance with the Fibonacci series. I found that I returned to the original pitch at 21, and cut off the pattern at that point, leaving me with a nine-note set. As a result, I decided to key the overall structure and some of the rhythmic structures to the numbers 13 and 21.
The piece is in rondo/variation form, in nine sections, always returning to the ‘Dialectic’ idea. It represents for me a struggle between systematization and intuition, in terms of both the musical material and in my own compositional methods.
Originally for orchestra, this version was arranged for William Drury and the Jordan Winds.