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Several Circles

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Quintet
2017
8 min.

Bass Clarinet

Clarinet

Piccolo Clarinet

Winds

More Details

Program Notes
Several Circles was commissioned by Andrew Hudson in association with the 10th & Broadway Ensemble. Andrew had requested a piece from myself after meeting him at the 2016 Bang on a Can Festival. As I was also a clarinet player from high school and my later years as a musician, I naturally thought of the multi dimensional character of this woodwind instrument that I am quite accustomed to: the versatility of the technical possibilities, the vast range spanning over 3 octaves, the expanded warmth and richness this instrument is known for, and most importantly, the natural effects of arpeggios, rolls, trills, interval jumps and improvisation that makes the clarinet so fun to play on. Because of the natural orbital round effects of the clarinet family, I decided to write this work based on Wassily Kandinsky’s “Several Circles”, one of a set of 3 paintings that I had wanted to set a piece since viewing them on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in 2006. Kandinsky’s abstract world of form not being connected to an external reality was a concept I was trying to depict in this work: the sequence of various sections and certain motific repeating textures dove tailing into one another represents the cosmos of the musical spheres that pertains to Kandinsky’s “Several Circles.” Most importantly, the colors of the various idiosyncratic performance techniques are loosely imitative of the endless circles and celestial pull that Kandinsky paints in his work.
Recording Notes
Several Circles was premiered at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois on 28 January, 2017. Finalist: The American Prize in Composition Chamber Music Division (2019)