Spires (2010) - For Brass Quintet
For Brass Quintet
Composed for the Mirari Brass Quintet
“Spires” was inspired, in part, by Julie Mehretu’s artwork “Berliner Plätze” (2008-09), a drawing using ink and acrylic on large canvas depicting a web of layered architectural blueprint drawings of buildings in Berlin as seen from different viewpoints. The result is an obscured grey texture with varying areas of intense density, with recognizable elements of the buildings occasionally jutting out in these parts from the web-like background texture.
“Spires” for brass quintet is inspired by the textures and concepts of Mehretu’s artwork. Spires are architectural structures rising from the top of buildings that jut into the sky. Just as spires reach from a building into the sky, key pitches and elements of the piece emerge to the foreground from a chaotic musical texture of trills. Like the architectural drawings of Mehretu, the music is continually rotated and viewed from different vantage points. As the piece continues, the music begins to depart from the Mehretu drawing as textures change, trills unravel and scaffolding textures fall away leaving real buildings standing in a city, weathered by time, lived in, and alive with people's dreams and aspirations, spires reaching ever more earnestly for the sky and beyond.