Chamber Ensemble (15:45) - August - December 2002



Labyrinth will be a continuous work for chamber ensemble that explores a variety of emotional states. The piece will be divided into nine movements written without interruption, and should be fourteen to sixteen minutes in length. The labyrinth suggested in the title is not necessarily a physical manifestation and the piece will not be rigorously programmatic, but such associations may be helpful in understanding the progression of movements.

At a higher level, the movements of the piece can be concatenated into an arch of three sections. Movements I through IV can be considered as a "first movement arc", with Movements VI through IX as the closing "third movement arc". Movement V will function both as a single movement and a standalone section, in order to highlight its importance.

Tonally, each movement will have an audible pitch center without regard to mode. Motion between movements will be generated through falling half-steps, with few exceptions. This motion is thematically important, as it implies that movements have unintentional destinations. A circle of fifths is used in the closing sections to propel the motion to its conclusion.

Instrumentation will be utilized in standard choirs and in pairs. Some movements will feature one of the three choirs (woodwind, brass, and strings) with sparse support from other instruments. Others will focus on the colours created by combining single sonorities in pairs and trios. Instruments will not be given particular identities; the themes and motives will be more important than the tone colours used to produce them. Significant full ensemble sections will be reserved for dramatic purposes.

Thematic material will be organic, generated mainly from the "first movement arc", and melody with accompaniment will be the prevalent texture.


  • I. Ingress
  • II. Determination
  • III. Perplexity
  • IV. Adversary
  • V. Despondency
  • VI. Bacchanal
  • VII. Flight
  • VIII. Determination Redux
  • IX. Egress


    2 Flutes (1 doubling Piccolo)
    1 Oboe
    1 Alto Saxophone (doubling Soprano Saxophone)
    1 Bassoon

    1 B-flat Trumpet
    2 Horns
    1 Trombone
    1 Tuba

    2 Violins
    1 Cello
    1 Double Bass

    2 Percussion including, but not limited to:
      Vibraphone, Xylophone, Glockenspiel
      Crash Cymbals, Pitched Toms, Gong
      Assorted Auxiliary Percussion
    1 Conductor
visitors since November 2003