Celestial Rings in Philadelphia

I will be delivering a paper on Thomas Ades’s violin concerto at the first annual THEMUS conference at Temple University. The conference takes place on Saturday 19 April 2014. Joseph Straus and Scott Burnham will give the keynote addresses.

“Rings,” the first movement of Adès’s violin concerto Concentric Paths, evokes the physical process of planetary motion and it is from this process that multiple time-scales arise: the lower-speed outer-orbits of planetary motion correspond to higher registers of pitch where melodies tend to unfold more slowly. The texture of Rings generalizes passages in Bach’s Presto to a post-tonal pitch process: pitches undergo processes that evolve at different rates, causing harmonies to expand, contract, and explode in hexatonic syzygies.

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