Unraveling
 
  for electric guitar, three looping machines, and percussion
   
  Year: 2007
   
  Duration: 13'
   
  First Performance: 17 October 2007 Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University- Princeton, NJ
    Andrew McKenna Lee, guitar ; Samuel Z. Solomon, percussion
   
  Instrumentation: percussion = vib, crot, tri, (tam-t; "sizzle" cym; hi-hat; Ch. cym, all somewhat flexible). Elec. guitar = wah and volume pedals, overdrive, delay, phaser. Looping machines must have pedal volume control and the capability to playback and record independently via a parallel circuit.
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'Unraveling' by Maren Swanson

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Program Notes

Unraveling is kind of my own, abstract response to minimalism. The use of looping machines obviously connotes repetition, and indeed, Unraveling is based on a series of slowly unfolding episodes during which loops are built in real time and then repeated. These repetitions generally fade to the background and become a texture over which new material (and consequently, new loops) are then created and developed – somewhat like a chain.

My aim in this piece (aside from employing and enjoying the use of technology!) was to try and make repetitive music that seemed to gradually flow and "morph" from one idea into another, a fairly constant compositional preoccupation of mine. I wanted to create a more "organic" perceived form – something more abstractly sensual and somewhat divorced from the repetitive rhythmic grooves that inherently comprise so much other minimalist-inspired music.

The title comes from my perception of the music's trajectory. It begins with an intensely wrought, notey, and highly ornamented texture, and gradually unravels its energy over the course of the piece until the end, when it dissolves into an ocean of repeating, phased-out, swelling chords.

 

   

 

Chronological Work List

 

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