In and Out of Focus

7 min.

Alto Saxophone



Pitched Percussion

Strings, bowed

Unpitched Percussion


More Details

Program Notes
In and Out of Focus poses philosophical questions about the relationships between individual instruments and the ensemble. Instruments shift between working with each other in a particular sonic world and working against each other, layering contrasting sonic worlds. Attention shifts between sonic worlds as instruments get louder and softer. I was thinking about this concept like a camera lens. As a photographer manipulates a camera lens, different objects in the shot shift in and out of focus. Additionally, focus also shifts between the foreground, middle ground, and background. In this analogy, the instruments with different timbres are like different objects. The foreground, middle ground, and background, created by the different objects, are like the contrasting sonic worlds, produced by different instruments. At times in this piece, attention shifts from instrument to instrument and sonic world to sonic world as well as layering instruments and sonic worlds on top of each other. My goal in this piece was to create an effect of instruments and sounds shifting in and out of focus.