Point — Line — Plane

Point — Line — Plane


for orchestra (6')

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Instrumentation: orchestra (double winds, harp, 2 perc, timpani, strings

Completed in February, 2007.

Dedicated to Caroline Shaw.

Commissioned by the Yale Philharmonia, Shinik Hahm, music director. World premiere on April 5, 2007 at Yale University.


The title of this work comes from a geometrical postulate which outlines the nature of physical space. It states, essentially, that a line is merely a collection of points, and a plane is likewise merely a collection of lines. This progressive axiom implies a kind of narrative form, in which the simplest elements gradually grow, spread, and move outward.

Musically, the fundamental element becomes an unaccompanied, twisting melody that travels between the many instruments of the orchestra. Soon, this theme splits into harmony with itself, growing into a chorale in which four melodies combine to create block harmonies. Finally, as the music continues to spread, large chords provide a plane over which short melodic statements in the winds recall the since-transformed opening melody. Thus, the opening idea, simple in realization but endlessly complex in connotation, has become a whole world: pitch – melody – harmony.

This piece is dedicated to Caroline Shaw, a brave and honest friend.

This digital download includes a full score (Tabloid-size) and a part for each instrument.


This recording is from the world premiere performance by the Yale Philharmonia, directed by Shinik Hahm, on April 5, 2007.