Formerly titled “LCD Trio” (during 2016)
Woodwind Trio (Flute, B-flat Clarinet, Alto Saxophone), ca. 11.5 minutes

  1. Reinitzer’s Carrots
  2. The Fourth State
  3. Twisted Light

Premiered March 5, 2016

Program Note:

The LCD Trio, a resident woodwind trio at the University of Tennessee at Martin, commissioned this work in 2016. Drawing inspiration from the group’s title, each movement of this work explores themes related to the marvelous technology of Liquid Crystal Displays. Hugo Reinitzer is credited with first observing the liquid crystal structures in his study of cholesterol extracted from carrots in 1888. Following Reinitzer were dozens of scientists and researchers who have developed his work to the point that we enjoy this technology in displays of incredible pixel density and clarity. “Reinitzer’s Carrots” approximates this development by using a theme and five variations. One of the beautiful properties of liquid crystals is the manner in which they refract light as they move from a solid to “liquid” state. Through the use of ternary form, “The Fourth State” attempts to depict this stunning transformation in liquid crystals as they move from a state that blocks all light to one of swirling, luminescent beauty and eventually back to darkness. Finally, in a pulsating, driving snapshot, “Twisted Light” captures the simple yet profound property of liquid crystals that actually rotates light by 90˚, thus allowing the light stream to be blocked by a polarized filter. Many of the melodic lines in this final movement are distributed to the various instruments in small units and twist around each other in a whirl of color and energy.