helix   for orchestra





Helix consists of a single motive that occurs in five different speeds.  At the opening of the work it can be heard on its own - slowly - in the horn and strings, followed by denser sections where the music intensifies through diminution (the motive in faster appearances), spiralling in and out of the different speeds.  An echoing technique derived from electronic delay as found in rock music emphasizes this spiralling.  This echo can be heard throughout the five-minute composition, but starts right at the beginning as a layer in bassoons, percussion, harp and piano.  The work shifts through different diatonic modes where Corellian suspension chains in the strings, again, underscore the spiralling motion.  These elements combined result in a weightless twirling that eventually gravitates towards a more grounded climax.

Helix was commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony for the opening of its centennial season 2018/2019, and is dedicated to music director Otto Tausk.