Moire for Two Pianos and Chamber Ensemble

(2010–2011)

 

The rippled texture seen in the shimmering, mercurial patterns of silken fabrics is called moire. Chosen as its title after the composition was completed, moire suggests the complex, fluid, and poetic horizon of the music.

While composing this piece, I came to realize that I have had a long-standing affinity for structures that are easy to perceive but that are also richly elaborated with intricacy and fine detail. I find such qualities in visual art such as Gothic stained glass, Ottoman miniatures, as well as in the music of Mozart, Boulez, Berio, and jazz fusion.

Moire juxtaposes two musical ideas coupled in the relationship of action and reaction, as with a stone and its ripple or a fundamental tone and its overtone. This relationship is most easily heard between the two pianos. The piece begins with strange growls and hammer-like beating chords in the two pianos that provide the initial driving force of the piece. Similar passages sound wild, motoric, and rhythmical. In the reactive sections, virtuosic textures transform into serene, lyrical, slowly moving, and sometimes elegiac quasi-melodic lines. Timbral modulation and opalescent harmonic resonance guide the orchestration in these sections, which contrast with the active, forceful sections in their fluid rhythms and sonorous soundscapes. The conclusion is announced by a motto-like idea performed in unison by the entire ensemble.

Füsun Köksal