Performed by the Wesleyan New Music Ensemble. Composed by Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg. Commissioned by the Wesleyan New Music Ensemble in the fall of 2002.
Performed, December 16, 2002
Resolution is a series of five short movements, where each performer is provided with a sequence of instructions serving as a framework for improvisation and a pitch set representing each movement's closing sonority, forming the notes of a dominant seventh chord.
The experience of the dominant seventh chord is central to Resolution. As the chord in western tonal music theory with the strongest tendency to resolve to the tonic, its inclusion calls up the harmonic memory imprinted on many people by years of exposure to classical and popular western music. By leaving the voice-leading up to the performers, to the audience, and to chance through the interactivity and indeterminacy specified in the score, and by resolving to the dominant, rather than the tonic, Resolution facilitates an exploration on the part of the ensemble collectively, and its members and audience members individually, of the ways in which a harmonic doctrine has transformed our hearing. Resolution provides a mechanism through which to explore our ability to hear things differently, and to engage critically with our harmonic education.
Members of the New Music Ensemble developed individual and collective guidelines for dealing with the instructions in the scores during the rehearsal process leading up to this performance. Their performance of Resolution is an expression of their relationship as an ensemble, their relationship to an audience, a performance space, and a musical language.
A recording of Resolution, as performed by the Wesleyan New Music Ensemble is available, along with two versions of Artificial Space on a CD at cost. Please email me to request a copy.