Saturday, 12 January 2008

Broken Frames

When writing pieces for duos, I tend to find myself thinking about what kinds of relationships the two instruments can have. Here I started by reducing them to the most basic categories I could think of - they can play the same thing, they can play something different to each other, or they can play on their own. These almost sterotypical interactions provide 8 brief fragments (3 the same, 3 different, a little solo for each) that are repeated cyclically. As these cycles develop the walls separating the various fragments gradually dissolve and much richer, more fluid, relationships start to evolve.

I hope that this kind of form can mirror and model human social interaction - in this case, we dance around each other in rigid socially conditioned ways but as these rituals continue we establish something more unique and personal. My music is rarely straightforwardly optimistic in these things, though, and the ending re-casts the initial materials in a collapsed, limited, way.

The performance is by Dirk Beisse and Ernst Surberg, from Ensemble Mosaik, at an SWR Ars Nova concert in Ravensburg (the home of the jigsaw puzzle!!), June 2007.

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