Vanishing Points is the last panel of a musical triptych which includes Hommage à Vasarely (1977) for orchestra and Treppenmusik (1982) for an ensemble of saxophones, clarinets, strings and variable speed tape delay system. The visual arts have been the source of inspiration for all three works.
Hommage à Vasarely, as its title suggest, attempts a musical evocation of the geometrical patterns found in the work of Victor Vasarely (1906-1997), whereas Treppenmusik (staircase music) draws upon the loop-like designs and illusions of the Dutch graphic artist, M.C. Escher (1898-1972).
Vanishing Points (1983), while not connected to any one artist’s work in particular, nevertheless alludes to the “vanishing point (s) ” often found in paintings. Quick moving melodies vanish and reappear in continuous accelerations reminiscent of the perceptual effects in art resulting from the convergence of two or more lines in order to produce the impression of perspective.
Vanishing Points was commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for the Esprit Orchestra thanks to a grant from the Canada Council. The work is dedicated to Esprit’s founder-conductor, Alex Pauk.