Nickitas Demos

notes from the Edge of the Millennium



  • 1
    notes from the Edge_m1_excerpt
  • 2
    notes from the Edge_m2_excerpt
  • 3
    notes from the Edge_m3_excerpt

notes from the Edge of the Millennium (1998)

Nickitas Demos

I. quarter note = 108 - score preview

II. eighth note = 104 score preview

III. quarter note = 96 score preview

Duration: 15'

Written at the close of the 20th Century, this work endeavors to grapple with the anticipation of change. Although only a change in date, the new millennium nevertheless posed a large conceptual milestone in the minds of many. Because the responses to this change were quite varied, I chose not to give each movement a title nor even a description; only tempo markings are indicated. Aside from the title of the piece as a whole, there is no intentional program attached to the individual movements. It is abstract music encouraging the listener to provide individual reaction.

The piece relies on minimal motivic ideas throughout. The general architecture of the work divides movements into a fast - slow - fast scheme. The first movement contains an artificially constructed scale that provides all of the pitch material. This scale is presented at the opening by each member of the ensemble beginning and ending at different points in the scale creating a quasi-micropolyphonic texture. The second movement is the most introspective of the three and explores a wide variety of timbres. It features extended techniques in the piano and percussion as well as delicate unison sections that stand in stark contrast to the first movement. The third, and shortest, movement alternates between bold unison gestures (carried over from the second movement and somewhat related both in pitch and rhythmic materials to the first movement) and highly polyphonic sections (reminiscent of the first movement). The piece concludes with the unison gesture overwhelming the polyphony and racing to an energetic finale.