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Ribbons of visible air Lee, Brent

Abstract

Ribbons of Visible Air is a work of about twenty minutes duration for soprano saxophone, violin, cello, piano, one percussion, and live digital sound processing. Though the work unfolds as one continuous movement, it is conceived as being in several sections, each lasting from approximately one to four minutes. The primary ideas behind the form of Ribbons of Visible Air originate in the concerto principle (with the saxophone in the role of soloist) and variation technique; these ideas influence not only the large-scale form, but also the organization of material in respect to the different instruments and the relationship of the ensemble as a whole to the electronic processing. This composition explores a number of harmonic techniques related to the harmonic series, as well as the rhythmic possibilities inherent in multiple levels of pulsation. Of particular relevance to this work is the incorporation of extended techniques of the soprano saxophone, especially the alteration of pitch and timbre through unorthodox fingering patterns.

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