Beyond the Event Horizon

Beyond the Event Horizon

orchestra | 3 minutes

performed by Jacomo Bairos and the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra

Program Notes

Beyond the Event Horizon, commissioned by my college horn professor Guglielmo Manfredi, originally began as a piece for horn choir. Even though I was writing the piece for a chamber ensemble, throughout the entire compositional process I could not shake the feeling that this piece was destined to have a much “bigger” sound. For quite some time, I’ve wanted to re-orchestrate it for a larger ensemble and now I have had the opportunity to do so. Some modifications and reworking have obviously taken place; however, almost all of the original material has been preserved and elaborated.

An excerpt from the original program notes:

“The event horizon is the point at which not even light can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole.  Once matter has passed beyond this point, it is drawn toward the center of the black hole to a point of infinite density. It is the concept of “density” which serves as the foundation for the construction of this piece.  Triadic formations are juxtaposed with each other to form harmonic combinations of varying densities. The piece explores these combinations musically rather than by programmatic means. Essentially, this piece would most appropriately be considered as an experiment in polytonality.”

A final comment must be made about the sense of nostalgia I experienced while working on this piece. In many ways, a composition is like a photograph of the composer’s life during the time he spent composing it. It captures  not only the meaning that the composer wishes to convey but also the means by which he conveys it. Upon revisiting this piece, I have discovered how much I have grown as a composer and a person during the past few years. It has also inspired me to continue this journey and to never cease learning about music or life.

Austin Brake
January 2014
Dover, Delaware