|Publisher||Chester Music Ltd|
|Category||Large Ensemble (7 or more players)|
Solar is based on the idea of an ever present harmonic structure, which radiates an image around it and forces the harmony over and over again back to its original form, as if following the laws of gravity. The piece is named after this idea.
This ‘solar’ harmony is then contrasted with a very different kind of harmonic principle, based more on polarities.
The musical material in Solar is deliberately limited. The same ideas re-appear, orchestrated in different manners, and above all in different tempi; this is another important aspect of Solar. Towards the end of the piece musical elements – registers, harmony, rhythm, tempo, orchestration – are presented in rapidly changing extremes.
The two electronic keyboards have limited but clear functions. The pianist alternates with the first keyboard ‘s sounds of metal bells tuned in quartertones. These sounds are connected to metallic percussions and the trumpet. The second keyboard, a Yamaha SY99 synthesiser, is used to complete piano and percussion textures, or to create sustained background chords and thus replace a larger string section.