Subterranean Ecosystem - A Work for Chamber Orchestra
Morris, Benjamin Jacob
Master of Music
Subterranean Ecosystem is a 6-minute work for chamber orchestra (18.104.22.168. / 2.2.1. / 2 perc. harp, celesta, strings) intended as a lively concert-opening work. The piece is influenced by the sound of the jazz “big band” and inspired by Mathew Borrett and M.C. Escher’s drawings of imaginary underground cities. Reflecting the layering and depth of Borrett and Escher’s drawings, Subterranean Ecosystem begins with an alternation of high and low musical material; a gesture in the low strings and brass, written in parallel tenths, is juxtaposed with a high repeated figure in the woodwinds, harp, vibraphone, and celeste. This alternation opens up to a melodic figure led by the English horn and fleshed out in the remaining reeds. Following some melodic development is a section of suspended, twinkling music with hints of the initial tenths gesture in the low strings. The piece gradually loses energy, as if submerging into a mysterious cave. Finally, the opening music returns in pizzicato strings, a ghost of its former self.
Chamber Orchestra, Composition