Symphony No. 2 - Symbiosis describes two worlds, as they start to coexist and complement each other. It‘s an artistic dispute between nature and technology and tells the complex story of humanity's relationship with nature and its impact on planet earth. The score can be downloaded here:
SYMBIOSIS SYMPHONY NO. 2
The symphony starts with a prelude of a solo violin, introducing a rhythmical structure of triplets. The harp continues with a variation of these triplets, which lay the foundation of the whole first movement. This structure also stands allegorically for a harmonic and structured world. More and more instruments join the harp and violin until we get to enjoy the full orchestra. Philosophically this movement reflects the evolution of nature and is therefore orchestrated purely classical without any use of electronic components.
The second movement starts with the most tranquil part of the entire work. Towards the end of the movement, however, the mood slowly starts to shift and for the first time electronic elements join the orchestra. Notably, one can hear a synthesiser smoothly replacing the harp and an electronic erhu echoing the violin. From a rhythmical point of view it still continues with the established triplets, which are familiar from the first movement. It‘s the calm before the storm.
This movement breaks the classical structure, which has been established in the first half. Electronic components, representing technology, aggressively force themselves onto the orchestral framework and kills the peace and harmony. Rhythmically 3/4 bars periodically break the 2/4 beat, stirring confusion. The established violin motive from the prelude of the first movement is varied and broken. Technology can‘t be stopped at this point anymore. It‘s a raging storm. A war between nature and technology, both fighting for their place in this world.
In the final movement an interesting process starts to take place; nature and technology are getting used to and even start complementing each other. A choir joins the orchestra and together with electronic components build up to the epic finale of the symphony.
Combining electronical and orchestral sounds in a elegant way proved to be quite a challenge for me. The notation of the symphony was tricky in particular. I finally decided to write the score normally for an orchestra, and added a soundfile to the score, which complements the orchestra, featuring the electronic samples.
A further challenge was creating a balanced ratio between variation and repetition on multiple levels, such as harmony, melody and orchestration. Finding the sweetspot is crucial for the engagement of the listener, as one quickly tends to be either bored or overwhelmed. For a whole symphony, one has to expand this balanced ratio to 4 movements without losing momentum.
I'm still hoping to find an orchestra to play it. There's some interest around, yet most of whom I've been in touch with are reluctant to expand the orchestra with electronic components. On the upside the first two movements could be played with a traditional orchestra without further ado.