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Composed: 2023

Length: c. 3 minutes

Orchestration: 2 piccolo trumpets, 10 trumpets, 2 bass trumpets (or trombones)

About this Piece

Tower for Frank Gehry was commissioned for the opening of the LUMA tower in Arles, France. Tower is my third work inspired by Frank Gehry: Tal Rosner’s video for In Seven Days (2008), for the anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, incorporated forms from Frank’s building; and Polaris (2010) was composed for the opening of his New World Center in Miami.

Tower begins with a kernel taken from the “Carillon” in Bizet’s L’Arlésienne, which I multiplied to the power of 14 to grow a musical “tower.” The music to me is really architecture, and as with Frank’s work, one moves around and within it to see how it itself moves. The helical structure creates confluences and divergences, platforms, and staircases. It is built as a perpetual ascent, spiraling always upwards like an Archimedes screw. The bright sound of the trumpets and the cascading textures evoke the joyful ebullience of Frank’s forms. —Thomas Adès