black root [2013]

black root [2013]

black root for solo Eb clarinet | dedicated to Markus Wenninger. An entanglement of sounds some of which lie below the surface, out of hearing.

Duration: circa 12 minutes

black root develops material from the works that preceded 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), TLOS (2011) and strange and artificial echos for quarter-tone alto flute (2012).

In black root, material from strange and artificial echoes, in particular, is developed further. As with all these pieces, quarter-tones remain an expressive feature throughout.

A word about the title:

black root is dedicated to Clarinettist Markus Wenninger. In a recent correspondence Markus remarked ‘Yes, sopranino-clarinet pieces are rare and few and far between, so all praise to you for having written a ‘hard gem’ for this ‘small, mean, black root’, as a hornist once described the instrument to me.’ The description ‘black root’ instantly stood out and ‘resonated’ with the music suggesting the title.

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