Soak Stain

Orchestra & Large Ensemble



Orchestra & Large Ensemble


1111sax; 1000; 2perc, hp, pno, 11110



commissioned by

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago

premiered by

The Grossman Ensemble

Purchase Score

An innovative technique created by American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, “soak stain” involves diluting acrylic paint until it is fluid enough to pour onto a raw canvas from a coffee can. In Frankenthaler’s paintings, this technique allows one to see colors competing and blending with its contiguous rival. I love this approach and the way it provides both structured blocks of color in Frankenthaler’s works and leaves amoeba-like and uneven edges as various colors meet. In my piece, I try to play with this idea by evoking clear formal structures defined by liquid melodies and melting textures.