clarinet, percussion, contrabass and fixed audio media - 8 min.

Written for ensemble et cetera

Program Notes:

The title Werkstoffwissenschaft is the German word for “materials science,” a field of study that is both personally and metaphorically connected with this work. My brother's experiments with the viscosity of metallic glass at high temperatures during his time as a Ph.D. student in Germany provided the inspiration and impetus for this work. Changes in the “viscosity” of the melodic material in Werkstoffwissenschaft create much of the drama, as melodies seem to flow at various rates due to large scale tempo “waves.” Further changes in “viscosity” are achieved through subtle changes in a variety of musical aspects: the recycling of pitches in melodic cells, the conjunct or disjunct nature of melodic intervals, and the rhythmic interval of tight-knit contrapuntal imitation. Werkstoffwissenschaft also seeks to fuse together the harmonic and timbral material of various bowed metallic objects in the digital audio part with the live ensemble players, creating a meta-instrument, capable of making uncanny utterances that are neither completely human, nor completely technological.

Performance History:

World Premiere: May 18, 2013

Conrad Prebys Recital Hall, University of California, San Diego

ensemble et cetera: Curt Miller, clarinets, Dustin Donahue, percussion, Scott Worthington, bass