Chances Are (2016)

12 instruments (or any multiple of 6 greater than 12)

Commission: Grand groupe régional d’improvisation libérée


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  • Programme Notes & Design

Programme notes

Unlike many musicians, I am unable to write something to the effect that “I had the idea for this piece when I became interested in…”, except to recount the fact that, as with most of my compositions I began writing Chances Are from a particular conscious place but which soon, seemingly by itself, had transformed. After spending relatively substantial time drawing designs that best depicted the movement of sound I wanted to hear, the original idea had transitioned into a larger gesture of sound in motion, travelling through many “places” of interest. One of these fascinations is the physical perception of shifting textures, densities and gestures in music. Originally composed for 12 musicians I divided the ensemble into 3 groups with as equally dispersed families of instruments as could be. I devised a somewhat symmetrical pattern of shifting of these elements, in order for the ear to “feel” the system without being able (or needing!) to know what it actually is… to obscure the intellectual workings to just the right the extent, making ample room for the visceral satisfaction. The drawing I include with these notes is the roadmap for the performers. In addition they have a page of instructions for how they should travel this route. You, dear audience member do not need the instructions for how to listen, thus I offer this simple drawing as another kind of window into Chances Are.