Symphony Orchestra

As the title suggests, H2O is concerned with water, in particular the molecular behaviour of three states of water, solid, liquid and gas, thus science is used as a basis to inform the behaviour of an orchestra. H2O, the chemical formula for water, consists of two hydrogen molecules bonded to one oxygen molecule. Water accounts for around 70% of our planet's surface, existing naturally in three states, solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam). The water molecules behave differently in each of these states: in ice, they form rigid lattice-type structures affording no movement; instead they vibrate, increasing in intensity as the temperature rises. In water the bonds constantly break and reform, dense and flowing, increasing in energy as the temperature rises until at 100C they break entirely free, expanding outward in a gaseous state. This molecular journey forms the basis for this piece, the orchestra behaving as the water molecules in each state. First: rigid, immense as in monolithic icebergs, unmoving. Second: flowing and dense, and third: floating, ever-expanding.



Of particular interest to the composer is the so-called 'change of state' that occurs as ice melts to water, and water vaporises to gas. These link the three main sections creating a continuous movement. A new harmonic device was created for this piece and is used extensively in the 2nd movement, bringing new sounds, portraying the magical quality that is water: that consists of the molecules H2O.

h20 - composition by Jill Jarman


Excerpts from 'H2O'