Rice University

Events at Rice

Thesis Defense

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Shepherd School of Music

Speaker: Benjamin Morris
Masters Candidate

Subterranean Ecosystem - A Work for Chamber Orchestra

Friday, April 14, 2017
2:00 PM  to 3:30 PM

2234 (conference room)  Alice Pratt Brown Hall

"Subterranean Ecosystem" is a 7-minute work for chamber orchestra ( / 2.2.1. / 2 perc. Celesta, strings) intended as a rich, snappy concert opener. The work is heavily influenced by jazz big band music and film music and is inspired by Mathew Borrett and M.C. Escher’s imaginary underground drawings of underground cities. The piece begins with an alternation of high and low musical material – a parallel-10ths gesture in the low strings and brass that captures the density and complexity of Borrett and Escher’s drawings, and a high repeated figure in the woodwinds, vibraphone, and celeste. This alternation opens up to a melodic figure led by the English horn, which is fleshed out in the reeds. The music features a slower middle section, as if entering a mysterious cave, before picking up momentum and ending with an intensely rhythmic culmination.

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