Ford, Ron

Ronald Ford was born September 29, 1959 in Kansas City, U.S.A. He moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1983. Education: Ford studied composition, piano and computer engineering at the Duke University ...

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Deus ex machina : for orchestra, 1998 / Ron Ford

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1999
Publisher's number: 09736
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Subgenre: Orchestra
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Remarks: Voor orkest en Fernorchester (4 hoorns). - Met financiële steun van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Geschreven voor het Nederlands Studenten orkest. - Cop. 1998
Year of composition: 1998
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): Deus ex Machina begins with a dialogue between on the one side, the strings and winds, playing long melodic lines, and on the other side, the brass, which interrupt these line with short, abrupt and sharp chords. These are the two basic elements of the piece, and despite their conflicting relationship, they form a tight group. Both elements develop in their own way: the melodic line, while remaining intact, is transposed from time to time to new tonal centres. The interruptions from the brass, are not transposed, but develop from single notes gradually to more complex chords. This relationship continues and becomes more and more complex until an extra-musical element shoves the piece abruptly in a new direction. The title refers to this moment. Deus ex machina is a term from the theatre. It means literally: God as a machine. As the story lines within a theatre work become so complicated and filled with intrigues, that there seems no possible solution, God enters the picture and
gives a helping hand. In the past this helping hand was often in the form of an enourmous machine, whereby the solution was brought about in a theatrically spectacular moment. In this orchestral work the hand of God takes the form of a music fragment by Raymond Scott (Powerhouse), that we easily recognize from the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons. In the end God's appearance in this form is not without reason, rather it has a sure logic about it. There is a musical relationship between the Bugs Bunny theme and the two earlier fighting elements. Thus it is that in this work Big Bunny serves as the helping hand of God in solving the fighting fractions. - RON FORD

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