one piece of chocolate per bar (2008) by Karen Power

one piece of chocolate per bar (2008)
Note by Karen Power

The starting point for one piece of chocolate per bar was a drawing. I'm not sure why, but I immediately started drawing lines to represent each voice in the orchestra. I followed each line through from beginning to end to help 'see' how the music needed to travel. I had never done this before. I then imagined cross-over points where instruments might meet and therefore alter the colouring of another instrument. I guess that somewhere there were practical reasons behind this idea. As this was my first work for orchestra, I decided to subdivide each orchestra section into smaller groups and to bind subgroups together based purely on sound colours. This meant that I was working with many more voices. My drawing helped me to imagine each voice's purpose and end goal while also giving me the security to indulge in brief sound explosions that occurred as instruments crossed paths.

This is what this initial drawing turned into.

The notion of seeing sound has become increasingly important in my work. For example, in this piece I use a lot of glissandi. For me this technique evokes a physical image of something falling or rising - you almost want to move with it! I suggest that you watch the musicians while listening to what they play and experience the full gesture behind every sound. This interest in gesture and movement in sound began in this work and has since become a central feature of my work.

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