The Chrysler Cycle

Burton, Katrina (2004) The Chrysler Cycle. [Composition]

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Movement III – “water, reflected”
“water, reflected…” was composed in 2004 and is the third movement of a five-movement work for orchestra, a research project linking musical composition to architectural design, in particular that of the Chrysler Building. All five movements can be performed separately as independent works or together under the title “The Chrysler Cycle”. While on a research trip to New York I assembled a portfolio of photographs of the building, including a series in which the reflection of the Chrysler Building is captured in the exterior glass panels of a nearby building. These photographs which present various distorted images of the building, have proved a source of inspiration in all five movements; the photograph used in “water, reflected…” suggesting that the reflecting surface is not in fact the exterior of another building, but water. Vaious textures employed throughout the work hint at this reference to water, the opening vibrato section and concluding trilling passages, both intended as allusions to the flow of water and the additional ripples produced when its surface is disturbed. Pitch material was formed by taking data from the building and conveying figures into frequencies, for example, the opening refers to the address of the building, 405 Lexington Avenue, the G# being the nearest frequency at 415Hz, while the top C that the solo cello ascends to and which is also the concluding point of the final trilling ascent in the strings is a reference to the height of the building. Standing at 1048 feet tall this C is the closest frequency at 1046Hz.

The realisation of this composition at its various stages received support from:

Grant from the Kerr-Fry Bequest Committee of the University of Edinburgh to undertake studies in photography at the New School University, New York (2005).

AHRB scholarship to continue research in the US as part of the PhD programme (2004).

Small Projects Grant from the University of Edinburgh Development Trust to cover travel costs to undertake preparatory research in the US as part of the PhD programme (2003).

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information: This work was premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Uncontrolled Keywords: water; reflections; musical composition; architectural design; Chrysler building; vibrato; trilling; pitch; solo cello;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Arts & Creative Industries
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 700 Arts & recreation > 780 Music > 784 Instruments & instrumental ensembles
700 Arts & recreation > 780 Music > 780 Music
Library of Congress Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Item ID: 2835
Depositing User: Stephen Davismoon
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2009 11:08
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2009 11:08

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