Aural Colors

As its title would indicate Aural Colors (1992) is “about” the large palette of sounds available in the modern symphony orchestra. While the use of color is constant in the piece, the work is clearly broken up into several sections of contrasting mood and character. The first section (marked incisive in the score) is rather quick, with the percussion and piano assuming a dominant role as the section progresses. The reappearance of the opening two notes (played by the strings in the beginning, played by full orchestra at the end of this sec­tion) leads directly to a quieter, gentler section (marked lyrical, with forward motion).

The lyricism gradually gives way to a more intense motion; but a buildup is suddenly cut off. The music becomes very relaxed, with single notes in the winds supported by chords in the strings. This leads directly to the final sec­tion (incisive), which closes with the opening two notes once again.

The work is affectionately dedicated to J. Karla Lemon and the Rohnert Park Symphony, who premiered the work in May, 1993.