Brittle Star (2023)
piano, clarinet, cello, and violin
Program Note (2023) I named "Brittle Star" after a deep-sea creature that crawl on the sea floor with long, winding tendrils. I imagine each member of the ensemble moving together along the abyssal floor. This piece contains a repeating cell of material spiraling downwards through a matrix of chordal space. It expresses a theory of underlying pitch hierarchies that may account for how listeners conceptualize tonal relatedness. I hold on to the metaphor of the winding deep-sea creature to represent the mysterious and submerged layers of unconscious cognition.