Structure and content in Whiteout.


Whiteout creates an atmosphere of unrest and tension through the use of Z-cells, an eight-tone constructed scale and rotating octatonic scales. Combined with a complex collection of related sets, the harmonic language creates a swirling texture of notes symmetrically placed around the perfect fifth. The motivic content woven throughout the piece generates tension between the triplet and eighth/sixteenth note figures. In conceptualizing this piece I wanted to create an orchestration that utilized the wide spectrum of range for each of the instruments, and in turn gave each instrument a crucial and melodic role to play in the piece. The result is a piece that is aleatoric on the surface yet driven by symmetrical harmonic content and rhythmic motifs underneath. These aspects are intended to mimic the underlying stability and surface chaos of a blizzard.