Performed above by Mike Lund Zeigler and the St. Norbert College Wind Ensemble
Chasm embodies an abstract narrative. The form of the piece is an arch form, A-B-C-B’-A’. In the maestoso sections (A), the listener will hear the melody primarily in the horns and trumpets. The allegro sections (B) feature a driving beat as motives get passed around the ensemble. In the central adagio section (C), the listener will hear slow moving motives blended with a textural sustained atmosphere. I invite the listener to hear the adagio section as the “chasm.” Harmonically, the work utilizes both triadic and tri-chord driven verticalities. The tonal structure is a struggle to achieve the key of C major, which is thwarted until the very end, except for a fleeting moment in the central adagio. The road to C major is embedded with a constant conflict between B and B flat, which never fully resolves. Chasm was commissioned by Cliff Towner and the Georgia College Wind Ensemble, along with a consortium of 10 colleges and high schools.