so many territories
February 8, 2014 - composition / news
I’ve just finished a new piece for Plus Minus, which they’ll be performing in London on 8 April in a portrait concert at City University. It’s called so many territories
and is a modular piece which for now is scored for clarinet, cello, piano and accordion. As you can see from the photo of the four scores on my kitchen floor, each score is a 8×8 grid of cells, each comprising a short sound. The players work their way independently across the grid from the top left corner to the bottom right, moving either up, down, left or right and following a series of rules. Each cell is a permutation of up to four parameters (two pitches, dynamics and articulation), controlled by a mutually orthogonal latin square. I discovered these through George Perec who used them in Life: A User’s Manual,
and they are really useful. Essentially each cell is a unique permutation of the four parameters, such that no pair of parameters is repeated in combination. Took me a while to find some examples and enough to cover all the parameters. The title comes from a line in a Bon Iver song.