© 2019 by Sebastian Zel.

Concert Music

Motion - i. in Spirals

               ii. in Waves

Video by Sly Pup Productions

commission info:

Motion was commissioned by Ann-Arbor based percussionist Andrew Grossman in the Fall of 2016, and was premiered at the University of Michigan's school of Music, Dance, and Theatre in October of 2016. It has since been performed numerous times by NYC-based duo of Georgia Mills and Noah Hadland.

program note:

motion is a two-part work exploring the relationship between a single musical cell and it's potential energy. Each of the two movements set up a distinctly unique framework in which this musical cell expends its potential energy as kinetic energy, and, according the framework of the movement, the cell moves, grows, develops, and interacts with its own patterns of motion.

i. in Spirals

The type of motion explored in this movement is that of spiral; a motion in which a body moves outwards from a starting point in an almost-circular motion. After the first full "orbit" of the starting point, the body is, at every instant from there onwards, at a point parallel to at least one earlier point (see the dotted line). Even though it's relationship to the starting point is analogous to that of it's earlier self, it remains further and further from the starting than at any ealier point. This movement is built in such a way, in that the music frequently encounters moments that distinctly resemble very specific earlier moments, but always in increasingly varied contexts, and each with a new and different relationship to the starting point: the beggining of the movement. the music always moves away from this starting point, but never detatches itself from it. The "starting point" from which this movement expands is the proportion of 3:2, given that the rhythm of the 5/8 divded is as 3 + 2, harmonically colored with a 3rd usually followed by 2nd.

ii. in Waves

This movement moves in waves, in large-scale oscillations, composed of many smaller oscillations. Unlike the work's first movement, this the body in motion depicted by this movement moves decidedly away from the very same starting point, with oscillating amounts of velocity, density, friction, and intnertia. These waves cycle at first slowly and imperceptibly, but as the movement progresses, they become tangible, and are outlined by variations in number combinations used as ingredients for the 3-layer polyrhythms which make up the bulk of the movement. It starts from the same 3:2 proportion that the first movement does, but contextualizes and redefines this proportion by posing it against different combinations of 4, 6, 7, 9, and 11. As the initial proportion becomes more densely "engulfed in the waves" of increasing rhythmic density, rhythmic polyphony emerges, and moves in waves, like those of the ocean, to a point of maximum pressure, and then cathartically crashes into dissipation.

Contact Sebastian directly for all performance materials