Simple Objects

Instrumentation: 2+picc,2,2,2 – 4,3,3,1 – timp, perc, pno, str

Duration: 9 minutes

Premiered on 5/30/13 by the Albany Symphony at the EMPAC Center in Troy, NY

About the Work

     Simple Objects was written during the fall of 2012 and is my second work for orchestra. The work features several very simple motifs that are developed and repeated throughout the work. The motifs are developed in very traditional ways (augmentations, transpositions, diminutions, etc.), but I have also taken the motifs and used them as textural color in addition to them functioning as a main melodic idea. My overall structural goal with the work was to maintain a high level of clarity with the motifs so the listener can hear how they are utilized and how they interact with each other.


    The shapes of the two movements are mirror images of each other. The first movement starts out with string harmonics in a very high register, then the movement expands the register and dynamics, and then finally it returns to the string harmonics in the high register. This is contrasted in the second movement where the work starts out with pizzicato in the very low register of the strings, then the movement expands the register and dynamics, and finally it returns to the low register pizzicato in the strings.


    The names of the two movements, Like Evening Clouds in Slow Motion and Like Dancers in Unsteady Rhythm, are not meant as programmatic titles, but instead they are a visual analogy to describe the overall tone and style of the movements.


Brian Petuch
2012