Published by
Project 440

Marcos Balter

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Portmanteaux

Performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble; conducted by Michael Lewanski.

The idea of sonic transformation is a crucial part of my music. The main concept behind Portmanteaux, written in 2008 and premiered by the International Contemporary Ensemble in the same year, is the gradual disintegration of distinct musical gestures. Each new particle of this initial monolith then becomes its own whole structure and is subsequently dissolved, culminating in a cloud of seminal ideas floating around the same space, appearing to casually interact with one another.  

Vision Mantra

Performed by members of the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago (Dominic Johnson, violin; Rebecca Wilcox, viola; Eric Sheaffer, cello)

Inspired by the location of its premiere, the Chicago Cultural Center, Vision Mantra was written in 2009 and premiered in the same year by members of the New Millennium Orchestra. As this venue is one of the most acoustically live concert halls in the city, I decided to write music that takes advantage of all the natural reverberation and enhanced high harmonics. The hall’s domed mosaic ceiling inspired my focus on patterns in this work. As the mosaic reaches the center of the dome, each of its patterns merges to form a unified complex visual entity, which is the central idea of the work’s discourse.