Opus 9 – The Lord Speaks (Job 38-41) (Piano and Electronics)

Recorded on 11/06/12 by Esther Hayter (Piano) at the WSU Recording Studio.

Program Notes

In the famous passage detailing God’s response to Job’s seemingly reasonable complaint, we read:

Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.  (Job 38:1-3)

This is a twelve-tone character piece depicting the storm the Lord spoke from. This piece is to be played with a “thunderstorm background” of the performer’s choice or making. The recording above makes intentional use of thunderclaps and rain sounds to depict the storm moving into Job’s vicinity and then away after the Lord speaks.

Initially, the concept for this piece was an experiment to make a twelve-tone row that created consonant harmony with its own retrograde. At the time that I was composing this, I was listening to a white-noise sound track of a thunderstorm that helps me focus while studying. With the thunderstorm sounds in my mind as I composed, I decided to require such a sound track as an accompaniment to the piece. Finally, the imagery of Job 38-40 came to mind and seemed the perfect subject for the piece.

Sheet Music

Travis Mallett, Opus 9 – The Lord Speaks (Job 38-41) (Score)

Video Score

Travis Mallett, Opus 9 – The Lord Speaks from Travis Mallett on Vimeo.