Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

David K. Gompper


from the signal is a piece for two simultaneously existing trios, where Trio 1 is comprised of clarinet, trumpet and percussion, and Trio 2 of violin, viola and violoncello. I use open form, indeterminacy, and non standard methods of notation to neutralize narrative form, creating instead a static world where sounds interact without implying purpose or direction.

The ideas of identity and concealment are central to from the signal, as each trio embodies a set of timbral characteristics that are respectively unique but exposed in different ways. Trio 1’s direct, strident material is an orchestrated amplification/extension of the slow progression of an EBow down the string of an acoustic guitar (played by the percussionist), while Trio 2’s softer sounds explore notions of space and closeness as they relate to pitch. The title refers to the roles of the percussionist and violinist, as they are responsible for leading and pacing their respective trios throughout the piece.

This piece may raise questions about power dynamics, relationships and balance, but is in no way an attempt to make a conclusion about these things. My intent is rather to create a musical situation where listeners are invited to consider the ramifications of such juxtaposition for themselves (drawing their own conclusions, or not). from the signal was written for the Chicago Civic Orchestra Composers Project, and will be premiered on May 28th, 2017.


iv, 7 pages


Copyright © 2017 Christine Burke

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