composed for: Joshua Rubin (as part of the Coalesence Cycle for ICE)
premiere: November 7, 2013, Miller Theater, New York City
instrumentation: clarinet and electronics
Around the time I began this piece, two tornados touched down in Brooklyn (not far from ICE headquarters.) Having grown up in nearby Queens, I was struck by the almost comic novelty of a tornado in Brooklyn and momentarily seized with the sense of excitement that dramatic weather can induce before its real danger becomes apparent. I envisioned the electronics in this piece sweeping up and spinning the musical material the clarinetist plays, just as a tornado sweeps up and churns out everything in its path. Later, as I contemplated using Cyclone as a title, I realized that it would carry a different—and equally specific—meaning to Brooklyn residents, for whom the huge roller coaster at Coney Island is a looming and iconic presence. In the end, the title refers to both cyclones, which gives some clue as to what to expect from the signal processing.