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Somewhere, distant, the ancient mechanism of an old clock can only just be heard.
In 2016 I experimented with various types of articulation and their dynamic range. This resulted in a series of Mechanism Studies describing the inner workings of old clocks. Clockwork is a development of one of those studies. It is intentionally simple in nature; a single pitch, using a key to subtly alter timbre.
An important element of this piece is the description of the ancient mechanism. The performer should imagine the sound of the ancient clock mechanism. The resulting sounds from the tongue clicks required by this piece are quieter than you might expect.
A delicate and intricate texture is created during a group performance, similar to a clockwork mechanism.
Fragile Dyads: small fragile units of sound building up into a larger moving texture. Narrow bands of controlled instability, exhibiting fragility and flaws giving a natural life span (World Saxophone Congress 2015).
This piece reflects the fragility and complexity of life. The dyads (two notes played simultaneously) are produced using specific saxophone multiphonics. They are deliberately moderately difficult to play in order to introduce an element of struggle and fragility. Although the dyads can sustain, they will eventually break (the performer/s should then move to the next dyad). In group performance each performer interprets the same graphic score, adding their individual voice to create an overall organic moving texture.
As a performer moves around the circle, the movement between dyads is heard, and the overlapping colours of dyads, especially in a large reverberant space. With more than one performer, the circles overlap, creating a complex detailed moving texture.
Ideally this piece should be performed in a large reverberant space. Multiple performers should be positioned around the performance area.
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