© 2017 James (Ka Wai) Chan

angels in time

for septet
Recorded at a Composer Lab Workshop

Conducted by Chloe van Soeterstede

Instrumentation

Horn, Percussion (1) - Crotales and Vibraphone, Piano, String Quartet

Programme Note

In this piece I explored a few things that I have wanted to experiment with, and these are reflected in the title. In the beginning of the piece we hear the horn playing on natural harmonics, and this led me to the imagery of the seven angels in Book of Revelation.

 

The idea of divine creatures that perhaps exist outside of time manifesting in time also serves as an analogy to the structure of the piece and the way materials are treated; it is as if there are musical objects that exists beyond the music, and we can only glimpse at one aspect at any time. This results in what is essential a piece in block form where materials reoccur almost cyclically.

 

In this piece I also explored quarter-tone harmony to give an otherworldly edge to the sound world. There is also some 'fast' music, which I am sometimes quite reluctant to write. Here I used the medieval technique of color and talea to generate some of the rhythms, and to give a sense of unpredictability.

JC