Year of composition: 2015
Instrumentation: soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, violin, viola, cello
Presented in collaboration with Lasse Thoreson’s Concrescence
project, Montreal, QC
Premiere: McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, Guillaume
Pollack Hall, Montreal
Melopoeia features complementary trios of voices and strings (soprano, mezzo-soprano and tenor matched by the corresponding string trio of violin, viola, and cello) in a textural fabric that slowly evolves, weaving together triadic consonance, dense polyphony and strange microtonal inflections. This short work draws inspiration from a debate captured in Aristoxenus’ Elementa Harmonica wherein the author argues that musical intervals should be judged according to their inherent melodic function, a departure from the prevailing Pythagorian tradition that validated intervals based on the relative perfection of their arithmetic proportions. Its title derives from the seventh and final ‘aspect’ of music-making, as defined by Aristoxenus in the Elementa: “the art of shaping melody”.