Shine is a single movement work for Pierrot ensemble (approximately ten minutes in duration). The work brings out the colorful characteristics of the instrumentation of the ensemble, which consists of flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello. Inspired by several verses from the Bible that use the word shine, this work features darkness and light. The darkness and light not only contrast with each other but they also coexist. "Let there be light" (Genesis, 1:3), says the Lord, and to his command light shines out of darkness. The beam of light is very powerful; it can break through the darkness. As I composed this piece, I envisioned a scene in which darkness is gradually faded by this beam of light. This is why this work implies theatrical music drama. The music shows the progression of pure darkness becoming pure light, and each section in this music represents the amount of light coming into the scene. The music begins with a short prelude, expressing the absence of light with two instruments: the piano which plays extreme chromatic cluster notes in the low register, followed by tamtam. The ascending melodic gesture of the clarinet and alto flute, and the tri-tone tremolo of the violin and cello feature a timeless and static atmosphere, and create tension. When the cluster notes that are played at the beginning of the piece appear for the second time they are spread out and divided between two hands in the piano. From then on, the music becomes increasingly complicated until the first climax. At that moment, darkness finally disappears because of the light completely filling the space (m. 97), and the harmony finally becomes tonal (Esus4/B) for the first time. Until this first climax, thick heterophonic or polyphonic passages dominate the section. Each line is intertwined with one another, and no one instrument uses the same melody as another. This is the end of the variation section. In the next section, which appears after the climax, harmonics in the strings and chimes announce the bright world filled with light, void of darkness. From this moment on, the music shows a completely different story. Before, darkness dominated the music; now, light takes over. The Shine melody, or the lyrical melody of the piano (built on Lydian mode materials), opens up this new light-dominating section. The melody is varied and repeated by other instruments. When The Shine melody returns, it is the last call for the end of the piece. This Light section, which opens and closes with the Shine melody, makes up an arch form, ABB' (cadenza-after the second climax) A'. The entire Light section has beautiful and harmonious sounds which last until the end of the piece. The Light section shows the absence of darkness, and is homophonic in texture. Also, here the harmonies are much simpler: they are tonal, and use the modes and whole-tone scales with tri-tone relationships. The second climax of the piece appears there. This is the most important moment of the piece, which is built up by the Light section. Unlike the first climax in which the texture is thick, rough, and rugged, the second climax is much smoother and gentler with diatonic and consonant harmonies. During the nineteenth century the programmatic music was characterized by more iconic and descriptive methods, this work uses a more modern approach with emphasis on symbolic representation. It is about light overcoming darkness—when darkness disappears and the world is full of light, fear and anxiety are removed by peace and comfort. I have used two contrasting languages for the two opposites, darkness and light, or black and white. For example, heterophonic or polyphonic texture versus homophonic texture; extremely dissonant, ambiguous, complex, and mysterious sounds versus purely beautiful, simple, glorious ones; dissonant intervals (mainly tri-tones, minor 2nds, and major 7ths) versus consonant ones (perfect 4ths and 5ths, major and minor 3rds/6th). Also, the instrumentation contributes to these contrasts, e.g. chromatic clusters in the low register of piano and tamtam for the darkness, and chimes, vibraphone and glockenspiel for light. Shine reflects my personal religion, Christianity.
For Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin and Cello
April 1, 2011.
A Thesis Submitted to the College of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.