Tracing Arcs is my first piece for a full orchestra and was the central focus for my first three semesters of graduate school. It could best be described as a symphonic poem, a single movement divided into four disparate sections. First, a lush, neo-romantic introduction that establishes the primary motive; next, a brisk, rhythmic post-minimalist section; third, a tuba cadenza; and finally, a sweeping conclusion that ends in a whisper.
Each of these sections is concerned with its own version of the initial motive. It first appears as interlocked thirds, and eventually becomes a fourth and fifth, two sevenths, and two (heavily disguised) ninths. This sense of rising and broadening is the catalyst for the piece’s variation process.
Tracing Arcs was premiered on February 23, 2013 by the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. John Ricarte and featuring Philip Walker on tuba.