Sonic Pathways - 2015
Sonic Pathways was composed for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Orchestra. The UNM HSCO is a community orchestra whose members are students, faculty, and staff of the UNM Health Sciences Center and UNM Hospital as well as other vulunteer members of the UNM and Albuquerque community.
In the spririt of the Health Sciences, ideas from the field of neuroscience serve as the inspiration for the musical structure. Neural networks and the process of learning within the brain serve as a metaphor for the processes of conducting, listening, and improvisation for the orchestra. The result is a unique semi-improvisational piece of music and an orchestral model of a brain in the process of learning.
This piece is designed around the unique qualities of a community orchestra of this kind - the benefits, challenges, and unique personal and musical qualitites - but may be performed by any large instrumental ensemble. The score contains not only instructions for performance, but suggestions for alternative uses for the piece as a pedagogical exercise for building musical skills as well as community bonds within the ensemble.