ON THE EIGHT (2021)
Instrumentation: 2222 / 0231 / timp.perc / str
Composed for Opera North's Minute Masterpieces competition, 20/07/2021.
The instructions were that the piece be composed for full orchestra or any combination of orchestral instruments on a theme of 'home'. I employed a number of techniques, including but not limited to polymetre, to obscure the downbeat of the already irregular 8/8 metre during the opening section, throwing the piece out of 'sync', so to speak. Naturally, the home key of A is diverted from too.
The second section begins the rectification of this disunity. My technique of notated acceleration and deceleration, developed as a master's student, is heard in three solo violins, as they mimic the feat easily attainable in electronic music of increasing and decreasing tempo rate, aligning at points but never quite in sync with the rest of the orchestra. A series of diminished scales keep tension up until the ensemble realign in full, in A, in the final bars of the piece.