Vis Machina for Orchestra
Vis machina is based on a four-note motive introduced first by the low strings. This motive is used as an ostinato for nearly the entire work and represents the inner-workings of a mechanical device. As the piece progresses other new motives begin to invade and grow. The middle-section of the work features a development of these ideas, presented first by the woodwinds, then the strings, followed by the percussion, and finally the brass who are interrupted by the initial motive, the music returning to its original state. As before, the motive becomes enveloped by other ideas, and again, thickening in texture . At the pivotal climax the entire orchestra plays the four-note motive in its most grotesque form yet. This is followed by the coda which is marked by a "parting-of-the-clouds" as the tempo slows and the texture thins. This lasts only a moment before the fervor returns and the entire ensemble is thrust into a final declamatory statement of the four-note motive.