new pieces for saxophones

June 18, 2012 - composition

I’ve just finished a new piece for eight saxophones, titled eight panels. It was a commission from Rico, the reed manufacturer, for performance at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews in July. The piece was a request from Eleri Ann Evans, and I’ve also made a short piece for her and her duo partner, bass clarinettist Henri Bok, which will also be played at the event.

eight panels is a sequence of dense multiphonics chords, each with one common pitch. It draws on my interest in monochrome painting, particularly that of Marcia Hafif, and the way that an apparent single colour comprises a depth of richly layered tones and paint textures. I am thinking about extending this approach to form a series, with panels for other instrumentation being made so that a sequence of differently constituted groups could  be arranged.

The duo is titled small template and is modeled on another piece, template (with aletrations) from 2010.  It comprises a series of score pages, each of which contains six lines. Sounds specified in the top line of each page are repeated in subsequent lines, but with additions and alterations: the original sounds are, however, always present. The result is a sequence of loops with small variations.

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