composed for: Rebekah Heller (as part of the Coalesence Cycle for ICE)
premiere: Fall 2013, New York City
length: 14 minutes
instrumentation: bassoon and electronics
Concatenation revisits an approach I have explored in previous solo pieces that I call “nested etudes,” in which a set of contrasting materials, any one of which could have been the subject of an etude, are laid out and interwoven into a continuous conversation. In this piece, there are seven different kinds of material, each with a unique approach to signal processing:
fog – fast, low phrases echo and resonate into a rich texture that moves quickly among the speakers;
bloom – a single, long expressive note blooms into a complex, just-tuned chord;
climb – gestures spin around the speakers as they rise in pitch;
flutter – tremolos echo and move;
metal – loud tones with distortion;
cry – long notes with glissandos excite resonant filters;
scurry – fleeting gestures are harmonized in trichords and spun.
After the initial exposition, these musical elements reappear in varying orders and phrase lengths as the piece plays out. The result is an elaborate conversation among the various elements.