Ponte, Nora Elsa
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My dissertation consists of a composition for large ensemble in three movements. The instrumentation is as follows: (1) Flute; (2) Clarinet in B flat; (3) Bassoon; (4) Horn; (5) Trumpet in C; (6) Tenor Trombone; (7) Marimba; (8) Piano; (9) Violin 1; (10) Violin 2; (11) Viola; (12) Cello; (13) Bass. Portrait Labyrinths. The title of the piece is "Portrait Labyrinths" and it is taken from the title of a string quartet I wrote before, called "Portrait", and based on "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce. The quartet had five movements as five are the chapters of Joyce's novel. Two movements of the original structure were not included in the first performance of the piece, and consequently set apart, remaining only with three. Those discarded movements became material and starting point for other pieces, as a solo piano piece and another string quartet. The fundamental musical idea that rules these two movements is a symmetric sequence of seven sounds that I took as the foundations for "Portrait Labyrinths", my dissertation piece. Beyond the structural symmetries that establish the musical skeleton of every movement in the piece, the direction of the general discourse in each of the parts is intimately connected to the narrative technique of Joyce's novel: stream of conscious. The development of the main character's mind from childhood to adulthood throughout a coherent and logical progress of thinking is musically mirrored in my piece. Each of the three sections of the composition follows a straight line in the growth of musical consciousness, and at the same time, contributes to the broader, comprehensive shape that involves all the movements in the work. The material form moves from simplistic and fragmentary musical cells up to reach a complex and articulated structure. In the first movement there are five strata: woodwinds, brass, piano, string quartet, and bass. Each group works as an entity separately from the others and has its own lively inner life. This separation gradually fades away and the five layers join a single main flow of sound. In the second movement there are two levels: an energetic and active one, and a static and mystic one. The first is assigned to the winds, marimba, and piano; the second to the strings. The direction of the musical ideas within each of the levels is consistently articulated in one major gesture. Again, both planes are in opposition at the beginning, and work slowly to create a relationship that is finally clearly stated at the end. In the third movement all the musical elements are together since the first measure setting a unique discourse, a single coherent and direct thought that is developed up to the closing section.