from: "Local, Late-Breaking" (4/2/05)

Notes for the work, Más o menos by Tristan Fuentes
(comments by Sr. Fuentes)

ás o menos is based on a jumble of compositional tools.  The marimba part functions as a chaconne fused with a moto perpetuo generator and forms the glue for the piece.  The harmony is vaguely functional in the 12-tone style, and the harmonic rhythm is that of the 12-bar blues progression.  In that classic context, there are three basic chords at play: the tonic, dominant and subdominant chords. Más o menos makes use of three tetrachords of varying dissonance to achieve the same contour of tensons as the 12-bar chord progression  

The form of the piece is "theme and variations".  The Minneapolis Institute of Art has a Chuck Close self-portrait that makes use of this form in a novel way.  In the first frame of the multi-frame work, very little information is revealed.  In subsequent frames, more information about the image is revealed until the full image is shown.  Then Close reverses the process.  This piece was inspired by that selfl-portrait.