M-Theory by Grayson Fiske (premiering 5-5-12)

M-Theory is an extremely rhythmic piece that is made up of several small motives of varying length all happening simultaneously creating occasional and profound alignments.

The extra musical inspiration behind this piece come from the study of the cosmos.  M-Theory, in astrophysics, is a term that comes out of the study of quantum mechanics and is an idea that attempts to quantify the currently six and likely more different incarnations of string theory, all of which can currently not be disproved. The ultimate goal of M-Theory is to be able to combine quantum mechanics and Newtonian physics into one grand unified theory. It is this idea of combining the macro-cosmic with the micro-cosmic that was really the driving force behind the creation of this piece.

M-Theory, the piece, is divided into three large sections.

      The first is a time-line of the creation of the universe starting with the big bang. In the beginning of the universe everything was so energetic that no solid matter could form. As things began to cool down the most basic elements were able to form starting with an endless sea of hydrogen. From there stars and planets were able to form and be come solar systems. Then galaxies began growing and forming there own clusters. All of these things continued and still continue to form the universe we know inhabit.
      The second section explores a paradox that arises when an object approaches the speed of light. On the surface of the Earth we all experience time passing at the same rate. If you were to observe some one accelerating to the speed of light you would notice a few things: that the traveler was becoming more and more massive the faster they went; that time seemed to be going by slower for them. This is because things that are traveling at high speeds literally do experience time slower, a fact that has been confirmed by scientific testing. From the perspective of the observer time is going by normally for them and slowly for the traveler. Conversely from the perspective of the traveler time is also passing normally for them but is passing at an accelerated rate for anyone not traveling with them.  I found that rhythm was the perfect medium for expressing this natural phenomenon in a way that is easy to grasp. The listener will hear a melody and ostinato in the percussion that remain constant through out this section and accompaniment that is constantly getting faster.
     The third section deals with black holes. A black hole is an object in space that has infinite gravity and consumes anything that comes within its grasp. This is represented musically with an ostinato that is almost dance-like and the deconstruction of the four note theme that was evident throughout the piece.
     Nearly every moment in the music represents some specific concept or event that happens in the cosmos and the composer would be happy to discuss the music further with anyone who has an interest.
-Grayson Fiske

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