Seurat’s Path

2017

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Seurat’s Path takes its inspiration from the painting by Georges Seurat, 1859-1891, titled Approach to the Bridge at Courbevoie. When approaching this commission I was invited to view several works of art in the Morgan Library and Museum, where my innermost affection was immediately drawn to the obscurity within Seurat’s piece.

As a former pianist I wanted to approach composing this commission as an exploration of the instruments extremities and vastness of range, and the use of chromaticism and dissonant cluster chords to represent the obscurity within, the path you eventually see in the painting - the more you look the more you find. Seurat’s contrast of dark and light, texturally rough with a smooth finish, is represented through the bookended use of the piano strings, providing a timbral contrast into the listeners journey.

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