Program notes for Myriad by Rob Waring

This piece for 14 winds, 2 percussion and synthesizer was commissioned by the Society for New Music of Kristiansand, Norway with funding from the Norwegian Cultural Council.  It was first performed on November 26, 1992 in the Kristiansand Cathedral by the Southern Norway Military Band under the direction of Terje Wik Mikkelsen.

In the 1980s and beginning of the 90s, Rob Waring attempted to reflect extra-musical ideas in many of his compositions. Myriad grapples with the following question: Can the myriad forms of the world be said to be part of a fundamental unity, or are they governed by independant basic principles in random interplay? Is existence best described by Monism or Polyism? The composer does not attempt to give any answers, but raises instead analagous questions in a musical world. By blurring the boundaries between molody and harmony, and between harmony and timbre, he creates sonic ambiguities. At certain moments the listener may be unsure of what he perceives. Is it one pitch with varying timbre, or changing pitches within chordal motion? Is it one giant instrument, or an ensemble of independant sound sources?