Aquarelles -- flute, viola and harp


Aquarelles - (2021)    


The notion of the relationship between pictorial art and music is long and interesting, for the two media are perhaps best linked by mental representations in the mind, more than in physicality of hearing versus vision, sound versus image, and so on. It is left to musicologists to further explore this, but composers have used the title for works, such as the lovely ensemble by Delius. Here is a work of some transparency, as I also experienced in some watercolor classes when I lived in Berlin.


A simple gesture for viola is responded to with the unique tuning of which the harp is so easily able. The underlying scale of the work, for the most part, is B-flat, C sharp, D, E-flat, F, G-flat, and A. In this way, moving between some harmonic domains is simple yet complex. An interesting transparency results.



A next section roots on D, with the augmented character of the melodic scale thereafter carrying one into another musical realm, thought with the same brushstrokes.



As contrast, and by pedaling the C-sharp to natural, the root becomes E-flat for a portion of the overall work.



Another color comes as the figuration in the harp moves from duple-triple to triple-triple as the flute and viola trade gestures.


The 9/8 is then handled differently as the harp's bass line insists for a moment on a duple harmonic movement, while the voices above play out the triple with hemiolas to contrast and accentuate.



Returning to a 6/8, the shifting harmonies offered by the harp's uniquely tuned 7-note scale allows yet more variety.



A last section with the flute and viola trading slight variations in the melody above plays out as the harp's arpeggios -- four to a measure in 3/4 time as the underlying sixteenths tie together the whole -- color the whole with a light wash of uprising chord structures. A short reprise of material from the beginning closes the work gently.


23 pages, circa 16' 15" - an MP3 demo is here: 


The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this score.


Aquarelles -- full score