Florescence

Florescence

Instrumentation – small ensemble (flute, viola, electric guitar, harp, piano-4-hands & percussion)

Duration – c.8’40”

Written in Brighton/Falmer, July-September 2016.

Florescence was commissioned by the Riot Ensemble, and was first performed by the Riot Ensemble (conductor – Aaron Holloway-Nahum) at St Nicholas’ Church, Brighton on 29th October 2016.

 

In the early stages of writing this piece, I had imagined a dizzying garden of exotic flowers, all opening at different speeds in time-lapse fashion, but I quickly found that I didn’t have the sufficient instrumental forces to see this through to my satisfaction. Instead, I put this idea aside for now, and soon began to envisage a single, sustained note, surging, electric, bursting with this potential energy that was trying to expand in a similar fashion, to blossom into something more. After some effort, the note does eventually flower: this emergence becomes increasingly elaborate, beginning to gather autonomy, until eventually, its independence gained, and with force, it collides with its source, breaking this initial seed open into tiny fragments.

Harmonically, the work is built from a small intervallic cell (2241) which, through exhaustive permutations, rotations, inversions and combinations, continues to grow and develop organically whilst retaining a unifying identity. Structurally, almost all details of the work are governed by the figures derived from combinations of these numbers (3,4,5,6,7). Alongside this harmonic field, two other harmonic systems are used: firstly, the harmonic series which derives from the seed (G3); and secondly, the untuned (or rather, indeterminate) pitch collections which can be obtained from various peripheral parts of the strings of the harp and piano.

 

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