Slant Apparatus

version for chamber orchestra


Composed for the 2010 Wellesley Composers Conference.
Live recording by the composers conference ensemble, conducted by Jim Baker.

version for wind ensemble


Arranged for the UGA Wind Ensemble for the 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music.
Live recording by the UGA Wind Ensemble, conducted by Evan Harger.

program note:

Slant Apparatus explores the tension between "process music" and "intuitive music." Process music is best defined as, "Music which results from the manipulation of rhythmic, pitch, or other formulaic cells." While intuitive music is "music freely composer based on feelings, emotions, and free choice." The interplay between the mechanical, rhythmic, and the mathematical with the ambiguous, lyrical, and the amorphous is truly captivating to the listener -- and creates that musical narrative that Peter Van Zandt Lane is so wonderful at weaving.

In the past, tonality has created a series of expectations that the composer can choose to follow or break from. Tonality created a framework from which the composer could pull our heartstrings, test our patience, and tickle our intellectual fancies. In Lane's music, the narrative is creates by the extent to which he follows the processes that have been clearly stated at the beginning of the work. In a way, the piece creates its own grammar, its own syntax, and its own set of rules and expectations.

Structured in an ABA form, Slant Apparatus was originally composed for the Chamber Orchestra at the Wellesley Composers Conference. Highly rhythmic ostinatos, elaborate canonic structures, and complex tonal relationships bookend a sensuous, teasing, and sexy middle section which is both alluring in its rhythmic ambiguity and meditative. Throughout the entire piece, hints of Peter's love of electro-acoustic music can be heard. Instruments are utilized in a manner that exploits their "noisy" qualities. The music is meant to sound like a machine, and a complex one at that.

The final bars of piece summarize and bring a quiet end to this rather raucous and energetic work. Rather than ending the piece with a huge climactic fanfare, Peter chooses to end in a quiet space of contemplation -- highlighting the piece's main compositional process -- namely, rhythmic augmentation and diminution. But perhaps the most remarkable quality of this music, is the extent to which the highly complex music sounds human and emotional. In his own way, Peter has written a piece that succeeds in reaching the heart through the vast pathways of the mind.

-- Program Note by Evan Harger

purchase/rent sheet music:

Slant Apparatus (chamber orchestra version)

The Wind Ensemble version of this work is distributed by Murphy Music Press, LCC.

Click Here to be directed to this work's page on the publisher's website.

If you would like a PDF of the score for your perusal or study purposes, please contact the composer directly.