interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles (2013)

In interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles the interaction of the players is governed by rule-based cueing and develops my interest in group behaviour as an organising principle. Players make sounds in response to those made by other ensemble members, either by interrupting sustained sounds, or using short sounds as triggers. The relatively consistent sound world, comprising veiled harmonics created by a movable preparation of the instruments, is occasionally interrupted by noise sounds. The title is taken from the preface to Samuel Johnson’s 1765 edition of the collected plays of Shakespeare:

The work of a correct and regular writer is a garden accurately formed and diligently planted, varied with shades, and scented with flowers; the composition of Shakespeare is a forest, in which oaks extend their branches, and pines tower in the air, interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles, and sometimes giving shelter to myrtles and to roses; filling the eye with awful pomp, and gratifying the mind with endless diversity.

interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles was commissioned by the Philharmonie Luxembourg for the Arditti Quartet and first performed by them at Rainy Days, Luxembourg, on 1 December 2013.