The Cloths of Heaven
for SATB choir
Composition Date: 2005
Commissioned: Tammy-Jo Mortensen
This piece was commissioned by Tammy-Jo Mortensen to be performed on the Winspear organ. It is an example of two of things that continue to excite me as a composer. The first is rhythm and the second texture.
The piece is in three sections with the rhythmic material occupying the outer parts. The piece begins with a compositional technique called “fill in the blank”. This is realized by taking a melodic line and only playing a couple of notes and then as you repeat you add more and more notes until the line is complete. This creates the allusion that the music is speeding. After all the blanks have been filled in we get the primary material of the piece. This material has a lot of rhythmic energy and when it’s repeated with the pedals added the “groove” even stronger. This section reminds of something you might hear played by a 70’s progressive rock band.
The middle section has as more suspended feeling as the soloist plays two busy triplet figures on the keys and a melodic line in the pedals. That material leads back into a recap.