Gamma-Ray Burst

by Colleen Noel Miller

Institution: Bowling Green State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Music; Composition; music; composition; sinfonietta; gamma-ray burst
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2155059
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1490635260295568


Gamma-Ray Burst is a single-movement work forsinfonietta with the following instrumentation: flute, oboe, bassclarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, 2violins, viola, cello, and contrabass. The piece is approximatelyten minutes in length and has three distinct formal sections. Theconceptual idea for the piece stems from a cosmic event called agamma-ray burst. This phenomenon is one of the brightest, mostchaotic explosions in the entire universe.My composition follows anarrative which parallels the three stages of an actual gamma-rayburst: the undisturbed cosmos, the burst, and the afterglow. Thecalm opening develops slowly using musical representations of theDoppler Effect, increasing movement and activity. The next section,the burst, depicts the release of a tremendous amount of energy.The energy dissipates via representation of distinct regions of theelectro-magnetic spectrumradio waves, visible light, gamma rays,etc. This suggests the start of the third formal section, theafterglow. In my narrative, the afterglow represents of a scenarioin which a gamma-ray burst is aimed directly at the Earth. Thelasting effects would be devastating to life on Earth and wouldresult in a barren environment.The rhythmic language employed inthis piece is important in accurately depicting the extra-musicalnarrative. My goal is to create a sporadic and spontaneous musicalspace. To achieve this, I use syncopated gestures betweencontrapuntal lines and a variety of rhythmicsubdivisions.Advisors/Committee Members: Dietz, Christopher (Advisor).