A vortex is a whirling mass, such as a tornado or whirlpool, which is created when a source of momentum causes a thick layer of unstable stratification to move with ever stronger tangential velocity as the medium (air or water)
converges into a smaller radius. The vortex gradually gains power and momentum while, ironically, forming a vacuum at its center. It is this image of opposites—one influenced by the other—that was the genesis of this piece. The piece alternates between moments of extreme stasis and whirling energy.
While the work is not a concerto, the piano often serves as the source of momentum, with the ensemble—static at first--gradually pulled into the vortex.
Commissioned by a Southern CBDNA consortium. First performance by the University of Tennessee Wind Symphony at the regional CBDNA conference, February, 2000.