for: orchestra (2-2-2-2; 4-2-2-1; 3 perc.; strings)
duration: 8 minutes
premiered: by Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon, April 27, 1996
Saskatchewan Arts Board Commission
In 1926, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky wrote Point and Line to Plane, a book exploring abstract drawing and painting. Kandinsky explains that a point is the smallest element found in the visual field, a line is a series of connected points, and a plane is a flattened out line. This work mimics this hierarchy of components, beginning with a flourish of notes or points, which come together to create lines in the form of individual solos. In turn these lines broaden into streams of harmony which represent the plane. This occurs over the course of the slow introduction, with the rest of the work playing with these ideas.
The Material Plane was commissioned by the Saskatoon Symphony with funds provided by the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Dennis Simons conducted the premiere performance in April 1996.