Refractions II

For symphonic orchestra. Sketched at SoundMine 2022, a composition internship in collaboration with HERMESensemble and Center Henri Pousseur. In the beautiful surroundings of Grand Commandery Alden Biesen, a group of young composers receives expert coaching for a week to fully develop their compositional qualities.

Refraction is the bending of curing of light or sound when it encounters a medium. For more information about the phenomenon, see this post about the first musical model, Refractions I!

While in Refractions I, the slowing down of a beam of light when it encounters a medium is modelled by changing the rhythms (but leaving the underlying tempo intact!), in Refractions II, the tempo changes. The medium is now a compelling and colourful orchestration and although the tempo changes, the original pulse is always maintained throughout in the percussion, resulting in very confusing and conflicting polymeters. See Model 2 below.

Model 2: used in Refractions II

2 Flutes (2nd also piccolo)
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in B flat (2nd also Bass Clarinet)
2 Bassoons

4 Horns
3 Trumpets (in C)
3 Trombones

Two percussionist


Score sample