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Coin Toss

 Josh Subramanian

This piece is a musical re-envisioning of the famed coin toss scene from No Country for Old Men. In creating the piece, I sought to combine the traditional hallmarks of film composition, aspects of a popular sound drawn from the film’s setting and non-triadic/serial harmony. To achieve this, I composed a sparse, guitar and string-driven piece consisting of a repetitive percussive idea and a ground bass pattern that functions as a harmonic drone. This is embellished by an acoustic guitar improvisation over a string orchestra.

I have drawn on both the serial and minimalist processes to create juxtaposing harmonic textures. I developed the piece while completing MUSC335: Composing Music and drew on almost every module we considered throughout the unit. The piece features a journey from tonal harmony to serial-derived sonorities to quartal and secundal harmony and poly-chords. The unstable harmonic language acts as a metaphor for the unsettling imagery of the coin toss scene.


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