Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

How Time Passes
for Chamber Orchestra
1967-69, 15:00

How Time Passes is an exploration of musical texture both in terms of density and color. Texture, being the primary form-giving parameter, is varied carefully from very sparse to dense and back to sparseness at the end of the piece. The composition was inspired by musics of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis.

How Time Passes is in a form articulated by the succession and alternation of orchestral groups. Initially, only woodwinds and brass are active; they are later followed by, and finally join with, two trumpets and piano. After the piano drops out, a short section for pure brass follows. The piano enters intermittently. Finally, the woodwinds return, reinstating the initial instrument grouping. The woodwind return is followed by the appearance of the total ensemble that continues to the end of the piece, only interrupted by a short piano solo. Near the end, a more 'pointillistic' texture takes over which, again, engages the entire ensemble.

In 1968, the piece was performed without its piano & brass sections. Its performance would thus be a premiere. The piano part of the piece constitutes an independent composition, carrying the title Piano Piece no. 2.