Chris Whyte

Music

Please see below for samples of my compositions and arrangements:

 

Scherzo Nocturno

 This marimba quartet is drawn “Sonata Serrana No. 1,” a piano sonata for four hands by Gabriela Lena Frank.  I was fortunate to perform her marimba duo with Third Angle New Music in 2014, and upon hearing a performance of the piano work, I was inspired to create a marimba quartet version.  She was gracious enough to give me permission to do so.  The performance below was given by my quartet, the Portland Percussion Group.

 

 

Sevilla

I created this arrangement of Isaac Albeniz’s “Sevilla” for the Union High School Percussion Ensemble, to be premiered at the 2010 Midwest Clinic.  The arrangement was subsequently published by Tapspace Publications.

 

 

Miorbhail

Commissioned by Mark Claassen for the Union High School Percussion Ensemble in 2016.

This work utilizes a number of traditional Gaelic folk songs and lullabies along with Bodhran rhythms as inspiration.

 

 

The Stone Prisoners

This work was commissioned by Mark Claassen for the Union High School Percussion Ensemble in 2015.  This performance was awarded first place in the Washington State Large Percussion Ensemble Contest.

In the summer of 2012, my wife and I took our honeymoon to various locations in Italy after being married in the coastal Ligurian town of La Spezia.  During our trip to Florence, we made a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia, ostensibly to see the infamous David for the first time.  While the David certainly stole the show as we proceeded through the museum, another collection of Michelangelo’’s work caught my eye.  The four marble statues coined “The Stone Prisoners” by scholars are a part of what comprises Michelangelo’s so-called incomplete works, in which he aimed to illustrate the struggle of man to free the spirit from physical matter.

            The striking nature of the statues inspired the concept for this piece.  In total there are four Stone Prisoners at the Accademia.  They have been named by scholars The Awakening Slave, The Young Slave, The Bearded Slave and The Atlas (or Bound).  These four characters loosely inform the structure of the piece in aesthetic quality and intent and form the basis for its four-part structure. 


Limberlost

Commissioned by Mark Claassen for the Union High School Percussion Ensemble.  This performance was awarded first place in the Washington State High School Large Percussion Ensemble Contest in April 2017.

“Limberlost” is a fantasy in four sections, inspired by the natural beauty and mystical surroundings of the Sahalie Falls in the Cascade mountain range outside of Eugene, Oregon.  The four sections are entitled:

1. Forest Whispers
2. Ember Glow
3. Frigid Silhouette
4. Sahalie Falling

 

 

Embellished

Commissioned by Lewis Norfleet for the Union High School Percussion Ensemble.  This performance was awarded first place in the Washington State High School Large Percussion Ensemble Contest in April of 2013.

The pitch material for this piece is derived entirely from the set of almglocken which sound the opening theme, arranged in the octatonic scale.  References to various kinds of bells resonate throughout the piece, some subtle and some overt, which in turn inform its structural organization.