play Blueshift

Blueshift is written for the familiar Pierrot-plus-percussion instrumentation. The title of this single-movement work comes from the term in astronomy used to describe the phenomenon in which the frequency of an electromagnetic wave emitted by a celestial object that is moving toward an observer shifts toward the blue side of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is somewhat akin to the Doppler effect as it would apply to light. Its opposite, redshift, is regarded as evidence of an expanding universe--objects moving away and outward exhibit this. The basic concepts of shortening wavelengths and contraction of material, as opposed to, say, expansion, are applied to this composition. But the very sound of the word "blueshift", which I like very much to say, and the notion of light from remote celestial objects on a journey across the universe toward us would probably speak better to the ambiance of the work (but there is no program or story implied). It progresses in one continuous movement from more nebulous textures to clearer, brighter, more transparent music.

Recorded live at Carleton College by Don Onsgard, 8 Feb., 2008

Martha Jamsa, flute
Nina Olsen, clarinet
Hector Valdivia, violin
David Carter, cello
Matthew McCright, piano
Jay Johnson, percussion
Alex Freeman, conductor