"Lumens" for orchestra and percussion

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

First Committee Member

Dennis Kam, Committee Chair


Lumens, primarily an artistic musical pursuit, also includes an exploration into the world of sound waves and harmonics. As a result of that foray, insights were acquired with regard to timbre, wave-shape, peripheral noise, vibrato, and number and strength of partials found. Those insights mostly influenced compositional decisions pertaining to orchestration such as choice of instrument combinations. The results from the study of the harmonic spectrum of sustained tones from thirteen orchestral instruments also provided pitch class sets which were used as compositional source material. Themes of development include set-class structures based upon these pitch-class sets. Although the presence of these note groupings admittedly emits certain colorations, none is intended hierarchically in prominence or importance. The metric flow and placement of musical entries is also intended to lack definite boundaries. The music is conceived texturally, with some elements intended to be in clear focus, and others, designed to embellish upon that clarity by the addition of color and timbre, and other musical elements merely intended to be perceived as obscurations and clouds of color and energy.Lumens is a one-movement, through-composed work with a duration of approximately twenty minutes. On a large scale, the music may be metaphorically characterized as a progression through three phases or moods. These moods represent the composer's musical interpretation and expression of a journey through life, from simplicity and innocence, into strife, pain and conflict, and ending with a transcendental joy, exultation, and resolution. As the title suggests a predisposition for shades and colors of perceptible energy, the sound energy in Lumens projects over a wide range of perceptible timbres, tones, and human emotions.



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