La Sonata modello "The Template Sonata"
La Sonata modello “The Template Sonata” for solo piano by Howard J. Buss is dedicated to pianist James Helton. The music traverses a wide rage of moods and sonic atmospheres. The composer designed a template of meter changes derived from the numerical series in mathematics codified by the medieval Italian mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci. In this adaptation of the Fibonacci sequence each number represents a quarter note and is expressed in the succession of meters 4/4, 3/4, 5/4, 4/4, 4/4, 5/4, 3/4, 5/4, 4/4, 4/4, 4/4, 4/4, and 5/4. This series of measures is repeated throughout the work. While each 13-bar segment implies that the music fits into a particular metrical scheme, the composer exerts independence in a variety of ways, such as with phrasing that sometimes ignores the underlying structure. Buss states: “This metrical template was at times useful, but often seemed arbitrary and counter to the thrust and development of the musical material. My challenge was to find a way to work with the template while using its rigidity to spark creative solutions. Although the music evolves within the template, my ultimate goal was that the listener be unaware of the structural underpinnings and simply enjoy the beauty of the music.”