Orlando Philharmonic and Full Sail University present Keith Lay’s Four Dimensions, April 21

The Orlando Philharmonic, in partnership with Full Sail University will hold a concert gala fundraiser program entitled Symphony in HD at Full Sail Live, a state of the art venue in Winter Park, Florida. This performance represents an innovative intersection between classical music and technology.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2012 AT 6:00 PM
Full Sail Live at Full Sail University • 141 University Park Drive, Winter Park
Dirk Meyer Conducts • Brian Smithers, Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) • Janette Zilioli, soprano • Michelle Mailhot, vocalist

Short works, extracted movements and other gems will fill the evening, including works  by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mozart, Duke Ellington, and Orlando’s own Stella Sung and Keith Lay.

Keith composed a new work, Four Dimensions, exclusively for this event (see below).

Program Notes by Keith Lay
Four Dimensions is an imaginary exploration of existence through music and image,  co-created by Visual Artist, Nathan Selikoff and me. The work begins with the Zero Dimension and evolves into the First, Second, Third (our universe of height, width and depth) and finally grows into the Fourth spatial dimension that we can only try to imagine. It is a single movement work lasting under seven minutes.

“Four Dimensions” music is composed for orchestra, an electronic wind instrument called an EWI and electronic sounds. The EWI is treated in this work as a regular woodwind in the orchestra and has several important solos. The electronic music was composed to be a new section of the orchestra –  playing a similar role as the winds, brass, strings and percussion do – by presenting new material, serving as an accompaniment, and adding timbral color. It employs both musical pitches and unpitched sounds that mix with the orchestra from many different directions: sometimes from behind you – or from the sides of the hall.  Maestro Dirk Meyer will be performing the electronics part from the podium with a Nintendo Wii-mote in his left hand while he conducts. This performance technology was created by my Full Sail colleague, Marc Pinsky for tonight’s concert.

The EWI, performed here by another Full Sail colleague and saxophonist, Brian Smithers, plays exactly like a woodwind instrument. But instead of a reed resonating an air column like a clarinet, the EWI electronically senses fingering, breath and mouthpiece pressure which control the tone, loudness and color of what comes out of its loudspeaker.

The work opens with the “Zero Dimension”. To be or not to be. In fact, the zero dimension really isn’t technically a dimension at all because it is dimensionless. In mathematics, we treat this as as a point that has no size, in physics it is a singularity, in logic it is true or false, on or off. An opening fortissimo chord from the brass represents this declaration of existence. The chord is restated in the electronics, then the woodwinds and then the strings over which the EWI appears with the main theme:

The opening elements: the eight note theme, the opening chords, the polytonal harmonic palette, the idea of moving back and forth between instrument sections of the orchestra and electronic sounds provide much of the developmental content throughout the entire work.

Singularities connect to form lines for the “First Dimension”, represented by a loud, bit-crunchy, electronic sounds emphasizing the tritone in the harmonic palette. Only direction exists in this imaginary universe.

In the Second Dimension, the lines from the First Dimension pair up and briefly connect to form planes. This is a primarily orchestral section featuring rapid EWI passages.  Intensity builds with an insistent triplet figure, reaching a climax which breaks into the “Third Dimension”.

The “Third Dimension” provides rhythmic relief with a soaring EWI solo over sustained, beautiful orchestral harmonies. We finally arrive at a quiet, stable point with the piano – repeating a closely voiced extended chord in D minor.

A loud interruption destroys this solace as a hole is torn in our dimensional fabric and we fall into the final “Fourth Dimension”. The 3rd dimension is visible within the 4th just as we in the 3rd dimension can see the 2nd. Here, the opening musical material from each dimension recapitulates and climbs to the final statement. At the close, the EWI and strings take the main theme, the woodwinds repeat the triplet figure from the Second Dimension, and large brass chords build to the final climax, ending with a loud, shaped noise.

Dan Crozier’s Capriccio performed by Orlando Philharmonic on January 14

On Saturday, January 14, 2012, at 8:00 PM, the Orlando Philharmonic (Christopher Wilkins, conductor, with guest pianist William Wolfram) will present a concert program at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, that includes CF2 member Dan Crozier‘s Capriccio.

Also on the program will be:
Weber’s Der Freischütz Overture, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis; and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.

American pianist William Wolfram was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, and a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. A versatile recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, he has won the respect of musicians and critics across the country and abroad. Wolfram has several recordings on the Naxos label, has played recitals in cities throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe, and has performed with dozens of the finest orchestras in the world.


Daniel Crozier (b. 1965) – Capriccio
The orchestral piece, Capriccio, is very much in keeping with my recent compositional exploration of the narrative, story-telling power of music. It was a strong interest in opera that led my purely instrumental music in this direction. The music of the great operatic literature, it seems, reaches well beyond the function of simply enhancing a drama on stage. Our perception is that this music somehow “becomes” the story that it tells, effectively taking it over, and expressing what happens on the stage in its own terms with a heightened sense of dramatic sweep and a good deal of emotional specificity. It is the music that essentially controls our experience as we are drawn into the dramatic world of a fine opera.

While it may be a bit problematic to speak of abstract orchestral music in such terms, music that exists apart from any explicit program or extra-musical reference does, I believe, have the capacity to carry on an independent narrative of its own sort, expressed using its own particular kind of syntax. In this spirit, Capriccio strives to create what might be called virtual, rather than concrete, narrative. We might even refer to it, after Mendelssohn, as an “opera scene without words,” in this case a largely comic scene, whose personae appear as musical ideas. As in other forms of drama, interest comes as a result of the way these characters relate to one another in the context of an overall plot, the way they may be transformed by the sometimes intense nature of their interaction, and the larger intensity curve that emerges as part of the process. The piece is concerned with three principal thematic ideas, which, as its title implies, establish a virtuosic atmosphere of bustling, and sometimes dancing, good-humor, not without a little suspense along the way.

The scurrying, opening idea highlights the woodwinds in its first appearance. The second is a tension building perpetual motion that precipitates the first climax. The appearance of the third idea heralds the beginning of the piece’s central episode, or “trio” section. Here the mood relaxes in a kind of swung dance for the two bassoons that is periodically interrupted by rude, mocking clarinets. The dance and the mocking figures vie for position over the course of this section in a competition that eventually lands the music in a tutti. After the trio closes it is the second idea, the perpetual motion, which returns, now quiet and mysterious in the upper register of the orchestra. This idea builds very gradually, and is developed and expanded over a longer period of time and with more intensity and athleticism than it had been earlier. The climax that it had been able to achieve during its first appearance is dwarfed by one a good deal larger here, that now coincides with the fist idea’s triumphant return. After a coda that builds quickly to yet one more culmination, the two bassoons make a failed attempt to resume their dance, summarily cut off by a final, brief reference to the piece’s opening gesture.