saxophone ensemble (1993) 7′

published by Sweet Child Music

  • commissioned by the Mi-bémol Saxophone Ensemble

I have long been interested in the use of spatial effects as a musical parameter, but have incorporated them in only a few of my compositions, mostly for dramatic and theatrical effects. However, in thinking about how I would compose a piece around the particularly monochromatic character of the sound of a saxophone ensemble, I realized that the use of two antiphonal choirs would provide orchestrational possibilities not afforded by the timbral homogeneity of the family of saxophones.

Antiphonal effects are thus a salient characteristic of Antiphochrome. Musical ideas are often traded between the two choirs in a call-and-response fashion, and the two choirs likewise alternate in the foreground/background roles that they play. Other orchestrational devices employed include the use of solo voices against sectional background textures, and an exploration of the subtle timbral variations in the various tessituras of the instruments. Motivic variation occurs in the subtle compacting and intensification of musical ideas over repeated presentations rather than in a more localized, developmental fashion; in fact, all of the motivic ideas that will later be developed are presented in the two portions of the opening fanfare.

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