Cold Fusion

Project Info

Project Description

The inspiration for Cold Fusion came from a dream that I had in the early hours of July 27, 2015. In it, I envisioned the WT Symphonic band at TMEA performing a high-energy work that was based in part on one of my earlier compositions for eight-hand piano, Molto Perpetuo. Later that week I enthusiastically approached the director of the ensemble, Don Lefevre, with the concept of a band work that delivered perpetual motion, unique rhythmic juxtapositions, and a slow intervallic progression that evolves throughout the work. As in the idealized concept of perpetual motion, cold fusion is essentially limitless energy. Also like perpetual motion, cold fusion is currently not indicated by substantive scientific evidence to be possible. Cold Fusion, however, explores the hypothetical possibility of nuclear fusion occurring at room temperature (as opposed to the “hot” fusion produced in stars). Since scientific research into cold fusion has focused on the isotopes of Hydrogen (H) and Palladium (Pd) I have symbolized these elements musically by separating the digits of their respective atomic numbers (1 and 46 realized as 1,4,6) and using the lowest common denominator as the basis for the time signature, the 12 in 12/8, as realized in the piece. Groupings of 1, 4, and 6 (and their factors) are used within the compound time’s measures to create contrasting layers of pulse that rhythmically represent the synthesis of these elements into a reaction that would produce fusion. Further, “Cold” is explored programmatically as our fictional process loses heat whereupon a large fraction of the ensemble occupy the lowest rhythmic state, at which point hypermetric effects become apparent. As the temperature further drops, the molecular motion begins to slow as the musical work moves through half-time, half-of-half time, and one-third of one-half of half-time before a loss in stability in the nuclear process causes a rise back to room temperature… and beyond.

Path to Polaris
  1. Path to Polaris
  2. Symphony No. 3, Gödel, Escher, Bach
  3. Isabella Air
  4. Dreams in the Dusk – Band
  5. Dreams in the Dusk – TTB
  6. Caprice
  7. El Symbola Zia