violin:clarinet:piano (with CPE) I am often struck with how music history functions in ways that do not resemble the linear progressions we were taught as undergraduates: after the Baroque came the Rococo, then the Classic period, then the Romantic, etc.. For example, it always seemed to me that Stockhausen, while heavily indebted to Webern, owed more to Liszt than, say, to Schoenberg. It's not always about how a composer handles pitch. Ideas from 2 generations earlier can resurface. Today in Europe we are witnessing a revival of many ideas from the 1960's especially – half a century ago – sometimes, apparently, without much realisation that they are indeed old [multiphonics, extended vocal techniques, theatre of the absurd, conceptualism]. A bit more like recycling than rediscovery. I hope I'm not equally guilty. CPE Bach (and J.S. Bach) are more clearly the sources of inspiration of Chopin than the Classic period composers immediately preceding him. There are moments in CPE Bach where one could be forgiven for thinking that one was listening to one of the more experimental Chopin Mazurkas, for example. I have no idea where this piece came from. I simply began writing it when staying in Asturias on the north coast of Spain. It is one of two pieces where I make clear reference to another composer. (I make reference to Chopin in my piano quintet). At this point in my life I felt the need to acknowledge a debt, I suppose. The piece does contain some of my most complex rhythmic structures exposed in a very sparse texture, making it very difficult indeed to perform.
Kevin Volans - Double Take (2004)
I always find writing for solo melody instrument the most difficult of compositional tasks. I wrote the piece as a duet for one player – ie. on two separate staves, with different dynamic levels, one stave being a response to the other. After I had written about half the piece, I discovered an off-the-beat ostinato which had been 'hiding' under the original material. So I repeated the opening adding the ostinato, which gives a new take on what one has heard already.
Jaco Meyer - Mirror IV (for solo violin)
Mirror IV is a march-like piece where the one half of notes are based on the other half of notes: I used a conceptual symmetrical 'mirror' line that exists in the middle of the four strings of the cello. Thus, the notes played and depressed on strings I and II will directly reflect on strings III and IV as if it is played in mirror (for example a C open string will be followed by A open string, and C# on string IV will reflect as A# on string I). This conceptual mirror gave me the opportunity to generate new material directly from existing material in the piece. This is one of many pieces in which I explored different types of conceptual mirrors
Amy Crankshaw - Four Figures (for piano)
These pieces are inspired by shapes and spaces. The idea that shapes are suspended in inescapable arrangements for their entire existence formed the character of this work.
Malcolm Dedman - Pas de Deux
Written in 2012, ‘Pas de Deux’ is a duet for violin and clarinet and lasts just under 5 minutes.
The title suggests a dance for two ballet dancers, but in this piece, I envisage that the dance is for the two musical instruments themselves. Its main theme is a fast melody with the two instruments very much entwined with one another. This is contrasted with two episodes of a slow adagio. When the fast music re-appears at the end, it quickens to a lively and exhilarating close.
Diale Mabitsela: (In-Isolation) - Anthony of Padua (Piano)
“Anthony of Padua” is a piece for four keyboards (2 acoustic pianos, one Epiano and an organ) in 2 parts. It explores the incorporation of contemplative silence within a piece of music and can thus be thought of a period of silent contemplation punctuated by incidents or ‘statements’ of music. Listening can take two approaches: the audible music plays a functional role, preparing and conditioning the listener to dwell within the silence;
The silence provides time in which to consider at length and soak in the musical material. The question of silence in a piece of music is explored in new ways: The silence of the music that, for the audience, may have been; and for the performer (and others that know the original well), that ‘should’ve’ been.
Douglas Scott - Umvumo Wekati
Umvumo Wekati (the song of the cat), is a short character piece for solo violin dedicated to my daughter, Caelyn. It is based on a little theme we created together on a tablet app that had a keyboard make cat "meows" on every note.