Harmonic Canon Streams (Horizontal Color Forms 16)
In this 7 1⁄2-minute work, Steve Kornicki has created an entire compositional process built around predetermined structures and processes that are the result of improvisational compositions using computer sequencing. For each of the 12 parts, every instrumental line was composed individually before it was added to the score.
Looking at the score in its totality, there are three basic categories with which one can define an instrument’s role. The first is that of a rhythmic background, which is carried by the hi-hat, maraca, cymbal, and tambourine. Each of these parts plays a unique, single one-bar pattern that lasts for almost the entire length of the piece, with some dynamic fluctuations along the way. The second category is pointed definitions of tones that sporadically appear throughout the work, played by the piano, chimes, and crotales. The third category is the harmonic and melodic waves of notes that are played with repetitive rhythms, and are very patient with the pace with which they change notes. These parts are played on the marimbas, vibraphone, and xylophone, and they shoulder the bulk of the weight, in terms of the trajectory of the character and “story” of this piece. Kornicki wrote each of the mallet parts as a 12-tone row that is related to the others, in that from the original row in the Marimba 1 part, the others are transposed up or down, and at times even played as a variation.
One point of interest is that while these tone rows are played, they might stay on one repeated note in the row for 10 to 20 measures before shifting to the next note. As these 12 musical lines weave in and out of each other, moving from the foreground to the background of the texture, the resulting synthesis is very trance-like, ambient, and persistent in its morphing nature. When the notes in the tone rows change, the resulting pitch blends consist of notes that are, mostly, a major second or perfect fourth apart. The composer also creates interest by shifting octaves and undulating the dynamic interplay with a random sense of order.
From a player’s perspective, the only “chops” required to pull off a great performance will be ones that require mental focus when playing a part that doesn’t change often, while still maintaining a healthy blend and balance with the rest of the ensemble. All in all, this piece has appeal, as it presents a different type of art when compared to most standard percussion ensemble pieces.
-Joshua D. Smith, Percussive Notes January 2022
Orchestral, Conceptual and Ensemble Music
The eight compositions appearing on [Steve Kornicki's CD] Orchestral, Conceptual and Ensemble Music provide insight into the musical range of composer Steve Kornicki. The program moves from the live philharmonic textures of the opening piece to the rapid careening of mallet instruments on the closer. In between, it would seem Kornicki is occupied with writing the lost chapter of ambient music - the one pertaining to symphonic music. His work here is lucid, pensive and subtly charged. These works superbly express the complexional range of orchestral timbres through the exploration of harmonic opposition and variances in dissonance and resolution. The slow paced development, necessary in the overall musical drama, forges deep structures. The style is understated and concerned with quietude. Simple form and subtle motion provide a quiet elegance, while a palette of timeless symphonic timbres adds fresh insight into what this classic medium can aspire to. Kornicki's concepts exist in an eternal future outside of our time, a time where the secrets of the universe are made audible.
-Chuck van Zyl, Star's End Ambient Radio, November 30, 2005
How’s this for a new approach to mathematical music? Take a CD containing 25 tracks consisting of loops of single tones sampled from a group of instruments, make 8 copies of said CD, assemble 8 CD players and play the discs on random shuffle simultaneously. If you’re troubled by the arithmetic, stop here. If not, read on... Each of the single tones reside within 6 notes of a diatonic scale (7 possible tones) and the bass tones are produced by pitch shifting the flute samples down several octaves (which is done by powers of 2, alas).
Other tracks sustain and repeat subsets from 12-tone rows, gradually introducing the entire aggregate in a shimmering ostinato that recalls Steve Reich’s pulsating canti in a way that would make James Tenney proud. Now, you can not know any of this and still enjoy the music (the secret recipe is revealed on Kornicki’s website but the CD booklet remains silent), or you can love the music and want to know more. I loved the music and read the web site and now want to know even more.
-Frank Oteri, New Music Box, 2005
Steve Kornicki's Synchronous Momentum is a two-mallet vibraphone work accompanied by electronic sounds that are on a compact disc that is included with the score. The work is very much a fusion of pop music idioms and dance grooves. This five-minute work presents basic challenges for the vibist in terms of melodic patterns full of leaps and challenging rhythmic patterns that must be synchronized with the electronic sounds. Synchronous Momentum will challenge the advanced performer and add momentum to any performance.
- Lisa Rogers, Percussive Notes, June 2003
Orchestral Soundscapes Vol 5
Composer Steve Kornicki's multihued and eloquent writing fuels the dramatic orchestral pieces found on Orchestral Soundscapes Vol 5, from vivid tracks accented lightly by vocal chorus, synths and electronic percussion to solo string pieces, this diverse set moves deftly through moods and feelings. "Final Flight" features a warm and sparkling piano line that floats among a winding ribbon of ringing strings. On "Through The Stars" fluttering, echoing flutes and rising, filtered synths weave a majestic melody, floating like the birth of the night sky. Orchestral Soundscapes Vol 5 will fill your scenes with passion, energy and light
-Freeplay Music, 2009
Time Withstanding (CD)
Kornicki's CD evokes spiraling emotional peaks and valleys.
-Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Deep Time (CD)
This CD manages to capture the high energy of the Kornicki Brother's live performances…a must for fans and a good primer for the uninitiated.
-WYEP-FM (Pittsburgh, PA)
Morning Star Rising
This 15-minute tone poem for orchestra incorporates echoes of Hovhaness and Holst, along with some slight minimalist elements, to create a very captivating sound. The piece strikes me as quite unique and powerful.
-Rob Grano, Musician & Writer, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The "program" of the morning star rising extends to touches of splendor, but above all there is a transparency here, as if at this time of day above all there is transparency between our world and another; a transparency that diminishes with, I suppose, the brightening of our day, but not with a suggestion of tragedy but rather of hope.
-Dale J. Nelson, Associate Professor of Liberal Arts, Mayville State University, North Dakota
"With soft colors and atmospheric harmonies, [Kornicki's Morning Star Rising] is an ambitious tone
poem depicting the topic of the Mayan relationship to celestial mythology." - Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
-Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Driving, syncopated rhythms with an impressive electronic accompaniment make Steve Kornicki's new work, Xylo Motion, a great recital piece for the college student or professional. A two-mallet tour de force, Xylo Motion will challenge the player but not the audience, who will enjoy the sounds and energy that it creates.
-Tom Siwe, Former Editor - Media Press Inc.
Written for xylophone soloist with pre-recorded electronic sound accompaniment, Steve Kornicki's Xylo Motion is a "tour-de-force" for the advanced performer. The electronic sound accompaniment melds so comfortably with the xylophone solo that the listener could possibly forget that there is an accompaniment. The work is approximately eight minutes in length and technically challenges the two-mallet performer with highly arpeggiated patterns, double stops at various intervallic distances, and syncopated rhythmic patterns. It is indeed refreshing to see a challenging, two-mallet piece added to the repertoire.
-Lisa Rogers, Percussive Notes, December 2004
Video Triptych (DVD)
Your work transported me to the world of fractals (which have been always part of my own work). Each video is mesmerizing!
-Nohra Corredor, Artist
Forever Journey (CD)
Just like the prismatic cover art, the latest CD from LA-based Steve Kornicki - Forever Journey - is filled with a colorful spectrum of instrumental guitar sounds. A mixture of live performance guitar, smooth jazz and Euro-flavored new age topped off with the strong rhythmic beat of world music, the 72-minute Forever Journey can be described as Pat Metheny jamming with Weather Report. A great sounding album for instrumental guitar aficionados, the album features stellar performances by Kornicki on electric and acoustic nylon guitars, fretless bass, baritone guitar, flute and keyboards and fine percussion work from Steve's brother Kevin Kornicki.
-Robert Silverstein - 20th Century Guitar June 2003
Forever Journey, a fantastic album of guitar music from a guy who does it all, Steve Kornicki.
-Radio Nonbiri, (Japan) 2003
Steve's CD, Forever Journey, is bright, upbeat music showcasing Steve Kornicki's guitar wizardry.
-GlenArts (online arts newsletter for the San Fernando Valley, CA)
A nice knack of makin' dat guitar talk the talk! Nice CD!
-Al Santos, WJZW Smooth Jazz - 105.9 Washington D.C.
The Kornicki Brothers' astonishing ability to generate a sound that is simultaneously recognizable and all-new is a pleasant surprise.
-Tail Spin Magazine
Using an array of guitars, keyboards and percussion instruments, the Kornicki Brothers craft themselves some intricately layered soundscapes.