Tres Decals consists of an ascending melody over which layers of ornamentation take place. Both the melody and the ornamentation respond to a series of permutational strategies that remain mostly untransformed over the span of the work. Despite the fact that the piece came to be as the layering of rather detached technical moves, my associations as I write this program note point towards the autobiographical: as I finished the piece, I was two weeks away from becoming a father for the first time, my former office literally turned into a nursery decorated with…decals. As a consequence, I tend to map many features of Tres Decals with tropes of infancy: the plain melody with the lullaby, the superimposition of pulses with the music-box, and the pervasive bits of major scales with the pitch material of, for instance, crib mobiles. In other words, Tres Decals is built with what, I imagine, are the sonic "day’s residues” in the dream of an infant.


Live recording from the premiere. July 31, 2014. Wellesley Composers Conference.