ensemble two alto saxophones
duration 6 minutes
written summer 2017
commissioned by Element Duo
premièred June 18, 2018 Château de Saint Loup, 79600 Saint-Loup-Lamairé, France
published by Murphy Music Press, LLC
I got the idea for this piece while watching an Alka-Seltzer dissolve into water; the solid masses fizzed up and changed the chemical composition of the water as the original tablet disappeared. I realized most of the music I’ve been writing recently follows a similar trend to this in that musical lines emerge from a texture and then dissolve into it. dissolve begins by building a solvent via the extensive use of an undulating subtone (extremely quiet) texture that changes slightly each time new material is added to it. Then solid masses of music to melt into the subtone texture. Eventually the solutes take over once all the ingredients have been entered, and the piece continues through an exploration of the different facilities of the saxophone (extreme dynamics, gradated articulation, timbre trills, glissandos, extreme registers, different tone colors, etc.) as well as development of ideas that had been deposited during the first part of the piece. Essentially, I tried combining these two things in a way that complimented both the musical ideas that were presented as well as some of my favorite capabilities of the saxophone. The piece ends by collapsing into a single note, as if all the solute has been used up.