Power Set

Written for Bent Frequency at Charlotte New Music Festival 2021

Instrumentation - Alto sax, Cello, Piano, Percussion

Duration - 7:00

A power set is the set of all possible subsets of a given set. In this piece, I have a set of three ideas:


A. A constant 16th note pulse
B. An ascension in pitch
C. Gestural/rhythmic unity across the ensemble


Power Set starts with a presentation of all of these ideas at the same time. Over the course of the piece, the striking of the woodblocks variously takes away and adds one idea to the set until all of the possible combinations of ideas { {A}, {AB}, {B}, {BC} etc. } are explored. The modular nature of the form led me to modular material which, when combined with the instrumentation, suggested to me a musical character of intersecting brutality, humor, and energy.