Dissolving Bands

Dissolving Bands (written in 2012) is a sonic picture of what life would feel and sound like in the nascent United States at a time of instability and revolutionary energy. The piece was commissioned by the Lexington (MA) Symphony and, in an abstract way, it especially alludes to Lexington’s role in the American Revolutionary War. Musically, I channeled the emotions that the colonists may have felt before the eruption of the revolutionary, beginning with rapidly changing instrumental choirs ascending in staccato clusters of unpredictable turbulence and ever-mounting tension. Later sections express uncertainty, fortitude, and the calm, open space of unknown future possibilities.

As I was searching for a title for my piece, I recalled the first sentence in the Declaration of Independence which begins, “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…” The title of my piece, Dissolving Bands, is a reference to this line and the severing of England’s patriarchal relationship with the colonies. The title is also significant because it describes the musical material. Throughout the piece, I create bands of sound that I then dissolve in various ways; gradually, suddenly, temporally, orchestrationally.