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Rainbow Tangle

for piano and live electronics

premiered 12/13/15, Spectrum, New York City
Nadia Shpachenko, piano

duration: 7 minutes

When Nadia Shpachenko asked for a short piece inspired by another composer, a passage from Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” immediately came to mind. The otherworldly ecstasy of the opening of its seventh movement, “Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps” ("Tangle or jumble of rainbows, for the Angel who announces the end of time”) has long captivated me, and I relished the excuse to play with some of its elements. Those familiar with Messiaen’s work will surely recognize harmonic juxtapositions and fragments of melody, in a context that uses simple electronic means to expand the sonic palette.

Rainbow Tangle was written for Nadia Shpachenko, whose musical glow covers the entire spectrum.

excerpt: