Plastic Patterns

Written for Brightwork Ensemble at Impulse New Music Festival 2021

Instrumentation - Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Violin, Cello

Duration - 7:00

Previously, I have enjoyed approaches to form involving juxtapositions of a lot of contrasting textures against each other in alternation. This time, I wanted to work the opposite way and create something more fundamentally integrated. I found a nice model in M.C. Escher's three Metamorphosis woodcuts which are built from discrete sections of tessellated patterns that morph into each other by transforming some small part of the element being tessellated, eventually returning to the same place it started.

Plastic Patters uses this as its guide to form; sections are
discrete but appear as elaborations of earlier motivic, textural, or gestural ideas before returning back to the  beginning. I also aimed to capture the compelling symmetry, simplicity, and quasi-canonic procedures of tessellation in the harmonic and contrapuntal language of the piece—almost all of the musical material is derived from short fragments that are flexibly offset, transformed, repeated, and mutated in a relatively simple modal environment.