10 March 2010

Tombeau de Berlioz


Hector Berlioz is among the most preeminent of 19th Century composers and his greatest contribution to the world of music was the complete revolutionizing of orchestration. He made the use of the orchestra into an art form of its own (arguably at the potential expense of musical depth for all composers thereafter). The extreme of that development came in the form of "Klangfarbenmelodie," the early 20th Century style of music defined entirely by its use of instrumental color. This is a style that I've largely shied away from (especially lately), but in honor of the great French Master, today have decided to give it another stab. I'm mixed on the results, not to mention the tremendous dissatisfaction from rendering orchestral music completely electronically.

Here is my orchestra of color. Each individual section gives off its own rich colored light, bright and brilliant. If only a single color is lit the result is a projection of that color onto whatever object it is aimed at. When all three colors shine, however, the result is white light. Not all that shocking given the primary colors and the wave property of light, but I thought it was an interesting corollary to Berlioz's orchestration.

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