Composition explores free thought
Joseph Klein, Distinguished Teaching Professor of music composition studies, is working on an ambitious composition, An Unaware Cosmos, which in its most expansive form will require 70 musicians distributed across 24 ensembles, each performing its own distinctive music.
The piece applies a modular approach to musical form where the individual pieces or “modules” — composed for various chamber ensembles of one to five instruments each — are played concurrently, rather than sequentially, allowing for the resulting music to be fragmented, dislocated, suspended, disrupted, and penetrated in unpredictable ways.
An Unaware Cosmos was conceived as a celebration of humankind’s quest for knowledge through skepticism and critical inquiry, as well as a rebuke of the tribalism, superstition and sophistry that continue to characterize much of our society,” Klein says. The composition pays homage to free thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson, Bertrand Russell, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. Among other issues, the work addresses non-linear models of time and the human desire to impose structure, order and inherent meaning on the universe.
Klein plans to complete the work in 2017, and it will be presented in its entirety at UNT the following year.