Another element of music?

Robert Sto­larik for The New York Times

My friend Haim Avit­sur par­tic­i­pated in a per­for­mance of “Orbits” for 80 trom­bones, soprano, and organ. (Haim was not the soprano, and he doesn’t play the organ!) The piece is by Henry Brant (1913–2008) and was per­formed at the Guggen­heim Museum in New York City.

In a New York Times review of the con­cert, the critic Anthony Tomassini writes that Brant

…regarded space as the fourth dimen­sion of music, along with pitch, time and timbre.

As you can see from the pic­ture, the space of the Guggen­heim is quite an evoca­tive arena to make use of space as a com­po­si­tional ele­ment! I have argued in my audio pod­cast that the “miss­ing ele­ment” of music is form, but I thought I would toss this in — space — as another pos­si­ble ele­ment of music for com­posers to con­sider exper­i­ment­ing with.

About Richard D. Russell

This was written by Richard D. Russell, New York City based composer of fine music.