Senior Composition Recital, Lilac Robertson 04/28/24

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Lilac Robertson

Performers are listed inside the program.

Sunday, April 28, 2024 7:30 pm

Faye Spanos Concert Hall


Introduction (2024)

Forest Animalia (2024)

APRIL 28, 2024, 7:30 PM

Jasmine Valentine, flute

Apollo Parish Mitchell, English horn

Kyle Chang, clarinet

Donald Parker, guitar

Logan Adams, bass

Dreaming River V2 (2024)

Echo Field (2024)

Nebula Wastes (2024)

Robert McCarl, percussion

Robin Bisho, tubular bells

Matt Kulm, glockenspiel

Lilac Robertson, piano

Logan Adams, bass

Sunset Station (2021)

Bobby Singh, flute

Apollo Parish Mitchell, oboe

Kyle Chang, clarinet

Skylar Warren, horn

Jordan Wier, bassoon

Lilac Robertson (b. 2002)

APRIL 28, 2024, 7:30 PM

Orbital Observatory (2024)

Cosmic Suite (2024)

Jasmine Valentine, piccolo

Bobby Sing, flute

Kyle Chang, clarinet

Jordan Wier, bassoon

Skylar Warren, horn

Yukina Shimokawa, trumpet

Jayden Laumeister, trombone

Alejandro Villalobos, tuba

Emma Northcutt and Lizzie Mendoza, violins

Ealaph Tabaa, viola

Jane Damon, cello

Logan Adams, bass

Mary Denney, synthesizer

Matt Kulm, glockenspiel

Judy Kim, piano

Tristan McMichael, conductor

View a digital version of this program at


This recital is presented as a degree requirement for a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition.

Lilac Robertson is a composer and singer studying at University of the Pacific. She began writing music in middle school, taking inspiration mainly from video game music, especially the work of composers such as Koji Kondo, Toby Fox, and Yoko Shimomura. This influence remained in her work through college, while adding in the new skills she learned in that time. Robertson hopes to apply these skills composing for actual video games in the future. She is currently studying composition with Hendel Almetus and studies voice with Eric Dudley.

Notes by the Composer Introduction

When I decided I wanted to have narrative introductions to each of the pieces in this concert, I realized Iwould need narration to introduce the basic story. To avoid having too long a string of monologuing without any music, I decided to set this opening narration to music. This introduction incorporates motives from later pieces in the concert, setting the stage for the story that is about to unfold.

Forest Animalia

The pieces in this concert were written to evoke the imagery and tone of various settings. The setting that this piece was written for is the most confusing; the concept was that it would be a forest where the plants and animals switched places. I decided to focus on having the piece convey the mystery of this setting, while not feeling too strange or tense.

Dreaming River V2

This track is essentially a reimagining of the first piece I wrote while at Pacific. The piece originally felt very disjointed and directionless to me in some ways, and making a new version in a DAW (digital audio workstation) also allowed me more freedom with the amount of instruments and the complexity.

Echo Field

For this piece, to simulate an “echo” sound, I used a lot of repeating notes in contrasting rhythms. I found this to be simple, but effective, and I ended up enjoying writing this piece quite a bit, although it went in a very different direction than I anticipated. When I decided I would play the piano part myself, I was worried that it would be very difficult to learn since I haven’t had much practice in a while, but it ended up being very fun, and helped me to get interested in playing piano again.

Nebula Wastes

I didn’t have a very specific concept in mind with this track, simply “spacey and intense.” It’s been very fun to go back to just messing around in a DAW and figuring things out as I go along, the kind of stuff I did all throughout high school, but haven’t had the motivation to do so much in the past couple years.

Sunset Station

Whenever we would visit my extended family throughout my life, the house we usually stayed in was near train tracks. Every day the train would pass by, with a very distinct whistle sound as it went by. This train always left a very strong impression on me. I wanted to capture the feeling of a train moving along, with both the rhythms and the chords that imitate the sound of a train whistle.

This piece was written during my first year at the Pacific Conservatory, and is the only one on this program that was not directly made for this project. When it was originally premiered, it was recorded independently by each of the performers, and there were many hiccups that came with that. This is the first time the piece is being performed live, and I’m excited to compare the two recordings!

Orbital Observatory

In the real world, space stations sometimes have spinning parts for the passengers to stay in, since the centrifugal force creates a kind of artificial gravity. This track uses a lot of cyclical patterns to represent the spinning motion of a space station, and I even had multiple sections that incorporate patterns using the digits of Pi in various ways. I made multiple slightly different versions of the track, with the idea that different layers would be


added and removed from the track depending on the situation, a concept in video games referred to as “adaptive music.” In this case, these different versions would relate to the speed at which the station is spinning, and the location of the player within (or outside) of the station.

Cosmic Suite

This piece was conceptualized as the theme for the central hub world of the game this project was based on. It is split into three sections, starting with a short, soft section that uses the main character’s motive, for when the character wakes up in their room. Then they step out onto the deck of the Sunship, a space-traveling ship that many people live on, represented by a sweet, homely waltz. As the protagonist steps out of the ship and into the magical world outside, the piece transitions into the final section, that of the Chain of Cosmos. This section is meant to emphasize curiosity and mystery, with various instruments trading off the melody in quick succession to evoke the variety of worlds that the player has access to.

This piece is the largest part of the concert, and the largest and most varied ensemble I have worked with thus far. I chose to limit the piece to a single instrument for each part, even the strings, partially for practical reasons, but also because I wanted each instrument to be heard as an individual to some extent, as though they’re all characters in the story.



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