Huygens' Principle (2009)

Symphony Orchestra

Duration: 7 minutes | Composed: 2009 (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) | Premiered Hobart 2009 | Recorded by Orchestra Victoria for the 3MBS National Composers Award 2009, conducted by Marko Letonja.

2(pic).2(EH).2(Bass).2(contra)/ 2perc/ harp/strings

Huygens Principle was developed as a way to explain the nature of waves as circular expanding ripples. The way they arise, flow around an obstacle, and then diminish; all these maneuvers are explained through Huygens ’ Principle by imagining that every point on a wave front is a new ripple source.

This work was composed to reflect an experiment whereby one could observe the nature of the waves in a pond…firstly you want to begin the experiment by creating something to observe beyond the stillness of the pond. So you aggravate the water’s surface, artificially creating a storm of conflicting, intense, and unruly ripples, which eventually become unified by their chaotic surges.

The next step is to patiently let the water return to stillness and through this process you can observe the ripples better. The many expanding circles gradually diminish and lap towards the edges. This process is still intense though as the more a ripple is allowed to expand, the larger it becomes.

Finally, along a more organic line, you are ready to leave the pond alone and walk away, but out of the stillness the natural life of the pond reveals a more calm, gracefully arching and fluid series of ripples, which, for the brief moment they exist, portray a natural overcoming of the whole experiment.


Full Score - Hardcopy $35 USD / $50 AUD
Full Score - PDF $25 USD / $40 AUD
Parts - PDF $35 USD / $50 AUD

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