Joseph Pereira – Colored Shadows (2002)
For timpani and electronics
Live performance, Juilliard School, April 2003

In four movements.

According to Rudolf Steiner, human beings deal with three stages of relationships to the outer world: light, heat and air-sound/tone. From his lectures on “The Light Course” he writes: 

“We certainly can experience ourselves in the airy element, just as we experience ourselves in the element of heat. In other words, our consciousness effectively descends into the airy element. Just as it enters into the elements of light and heat, our consciousness also enters into the element of air. By entering into the element of air it can in turn come to terms with what happens in the air surrounding us, and this coming to terms is what manifests itself in the phenomenon of sound or tone.”

Steiner continues, “speeds are external realities on sound while the air has a certain capacity for speed.” As soon as a sound is set in motion it immediately begins to start its course in time\space. This is all dependent on some kind of velocity and therefore the dynamics equal the durations of any given pitch. Each sound takes on a form, independent yet effective, which saturate other sounds much like darkness plays into lightness – for example, under the Goethean view you could say that different shades of purple are the activity of red in blue. The elements of sound consist of a certain loudness, a certain pitch, a certain length, and a certain quality. Musically, I wanted to have the natural innate sounds of the instrument be the material of the piece. The three stages (light, heat and air (sound\tone) are analogous to the drums attacks, (set in motion) resonance, (lengths) and pitch, (tone) and to the spatialization\proccessed sounds of the present, future and past. The performer is forced to choose between different durations and speeds of the gestures depending on the natural resonance of the instruments. This eliminates any influence of player techniques or compositional/rhythmical techniques on the actual form of the piece. Each of the four short movements is a kind of “temporal dimension”, never turning back to repeat itself and in continuous development. There is no exposition, development, recap, in the standard sense, thus the past is indistinguishable from the present. Along with the Max processing of these sounds the listener may experience sound, sight, and memory simultaneously in the “moment” – inhibiting differentiated forms of the outer air, living the external physical substance, with no end, no beginning.

-Joseph Pereira

Learn more about Joe here.