Recording from the premier, 2.27.2006

Program notes for keraclem

It is with some amount of difficulty that I attempt to sum up in a few words, a piece whose composition was extremely difficult for me both conceptually and technically. There are many ideas that form the conceptual base of this piece. At the highest level they all work to form an audible narrative. At lower levels, they consist of the employment of theories of probability, flocking and grouping which inform linear movement. The vertical considerations are controlled by two pitch-class clusters of different size. These in turn inform a tri-chord system which factors into the piece’s long-range harmonic progression. All of these base processes undergo a constant and relentless process of transformation which results in the audible narrative. In addition, a complex relationship exists between each of the player’s parts. Nothing occurs randomly and no action is isolated – all of the parts work together to form the whole.

On a first hearing, I recommend that the listener, to grasp some order from a very dense and sometimes difficult texture, not try to hear the complex linear and vertical systems described above. Instead, listen for general, more obvious changes over time. It can take as long as several minutes for one idea to play out and transform into another, so pay attention as best you can to the music as it occurs — do not try to remember the music in detail, just listen to the sounds as they grow, change, and interact with each other as you would listening to a story unfold.