To The Nine
guitar and electronic sounds
To the Nine was commissioned by and dedicated to Todd Seelye in 1991. The title refers to "the tuneful Nine," the Muses of Greek antiquity, and to the various "nines" of the piece. For example, the maximum number of contrapuntal voices in the piece is nine.
The work can heard as a kind of chanber concerto, mixing elements of the Baroque concerto grosso and the more dramatic concerto of the nineteenth century. Indeed the electronic sounds themselves suggest both types of concerti since they both embellish and contrast the plucked string sound of the guitar; they range from neighboring harp, lute, and pizzicato sounds to sustained wind, brass, and other not-so-easily described sounds. The interaction of the guitar with the tape is multivalent; sometimes the guitar opposes, other times confirms or embellishes the tape sounds; at still other times, it embeds unto camouflage in the piece's weave of lines, gestures, and textures.