Unfamiliar Spaces

for Orchestra (2020)

Duration: 8'

In 1973, music theorist Allen Forte published his The Structure of Atonal Music, in which he systematically assigned unique “Forte numbers” to pitch class sets. These numbers are widely used when dealing with chords or collections of pitches that exceed the boundaries of traditional harmony. The harmonic material for Unfamiliar Spaces derives entirely from three pitch class sets: Forte numbers 6-10, 6-11, and 6-14. These numbers correspond to meaningful dates in my life, dates when I entered unfamiliar spaces, either geographically or relationally. Through this music, which proceeds through a series of spaces, I attempt to convey the mystery, anxiety, and joy I’ve experienced in navigating these unfamiliar spaces.