Structural Integrity (2013) is based on a sculpture by Bill Smith called Structure. The 20-foot tall tower weighs only two ounces and is similar to many natural structures found in our world. The structures that I find most intriguing are hair cells – sensory receptors for perceiving sound that are found on a microscopic level in almost every mammal.
The overall shape of Structural Integrity reflects that of the damped sine wave that gives Smith’s Structure its form. My piece begins with a broad base of octave doublings and eventually tapers down to one line; one note. The constant growth and decay of dynamic, line, and tone color throughout reflects the oscillation of a sine wave as it is interpreted by human ears. These similar swelling shapes create a series of interconnected musical modules that seamlessly transition from one to the other and finally converge upon a single unison pitch, reminiscent of how the piece began.
The premier took place among Smith’s work at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri on 4 May 2013.