Rhízōma

Rhízōma, the ancient Greek word meaning “mass of roots,” is the root of modern English’s word rhizome that is similarly defined as the subterranean network of shoots and roots belonging to a plant. Rhízōma in no way attempts to represent this concept in a programmatic manner; rather, musical structure is generated through a network of both perceptible and sub-perceptible processes.

Contrary to an organic approach where all material develops or relates to a single cell or motive, a rhizomatic approach as used in this work suggests music at any point may or may not be related to other music at other points depending on what compositional techniques are in play, generating a network of musical relationships. Defining compositional processes include but are not limited to the use of specific pitch class sets (trichords, hexachords, and tetrachords built by overlapping trichords), twelve-tone techniques, contour determined by English change ringing methods, motivic rhythmic and dynamic gestures, tempo relationships and timbral relationships. This said, it is my intention for these musical elements to provide structural integrity to the work while remaining sub-perceptible from the audience’s perspective, similar to how a rhizome provides subterranean structure to a plant viewed from above ground.

Rhízōma was composed in the spring of 2014 under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Grantham and lasts approximately 11’45”.

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