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eight pieces for wind quartet was inspired by Ligeti’s extraordinary, dramatic work Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet, and my eight pieces uses this work as a model, where movements alternate between slow-moving, cloud-like textures and jittery, virtuosic interjections. The fragments of melody are constantly reaching outwards, the tense, at times nightmarish, harmonic language constantly straining, edging towards the elusive octave. Within the twelve-tone framework I wanted to create as much diversity and flexibility as possible, always keeping a tension between motion and stasis. Each piece is a kind of elaboration of the same melodic idea, a blueprint that is constructed differently each time, like seemingly unrelated episodes in a dream. Below is a short poem that I think embodies the miniature nature of each piece and the work as a whole.
if a dream came to you you might catch it, hold it, sculpt from it an elaborate
memory, the husk of a rushed feeling, the miniature interior of a moment
- alex taylor
Written for Ben Hoadley, for the New Zealand Music for Woodwind concert, April 7 2010
II. Molto calmo e sostenuto
III. Con forza (e senza delicatezza)
V. Energico ridiculoso
VI. Lontano e bizarro
VII. A cute little interlude
VIII. Turbulent, con rubato
07 Apr 2010: NZ Music for Woodwinds: Auckland