for quartertone alto flute
dedicated to Carla Rees
We have also divers strange and artificial echos, reflecting the voice many times, and as it were tossing it:
and some that give back the voice louder than it came; some shriller, and some deeper, yea, some rendering
the voice differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive.
New Atlantis: Sir Francis Bacon
strange and artificial echos develops material from the works that preceeded it.
This follows on from a compositional trend that can be traced back over many years but more particularly relates to a series of works that developed from material first notated in repeat offenders, for bass clarinet duo (2003), and more recently, music for ERIS (2010), Prorrhesis for trombone and two bass drums (2011), ‘on a theme of Hermes’ (2011), crowded rooms (2011) and TLOS (2011).
In strange and artificial echos, material from ERIS and Prorrhesis, in particular, are developed much further and have been taken on an entirely new journey and given the potential to expand and grow. This work was written with the quartertone alto flute in mind and as such, quarter tones remain an expressive feature throughout.
Flexible in performance, strange and artificial echos is composed through a series of variations; 4 ‘verses’ and 6 ‘variants’. Strongly related, each of these sections is a fully formed piece in its own right. The verses, in the main, are pitch variations of each other, with slight rhythmic modifications from verse to verse. The variants concentrate and develop particular motific and material preoccupations, moods and energies.
The verses and variants can be combined in any number of ways. There is only one rule: that the piece begins with a verse that is followed by a variant. The piece can then be built in a sequence of verses and variants in any order of the performers’ choosing. This flexibility enables the duration of the piece, at it’s shortest to range across 3-4 minutes, and at it’s fullest, playing through all the material, around 22 minutes.
verse 1: 1′.45″
verse 2: 1′.55″
verse 3: 1′.55″
verse 4: 2′.00″
variant 1: 1′.35″
variant 2: 1′.40″
variant 3: 1′.35″
variant 4: 3′.45″
variant 5: 3′.00″
variant 6: 2′.30″