Touches
Instrumentation: Flute, Bass clarinet, Violin, Cello
Duration: 8:00

I find the Pierrot-core of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello a very difficult ensemble to write for in isolation. There isn't much in the way of homogeneity to fall back on. The instrumentation is lean. There is a lot of overlap in terms of range. All these things and more are good motivators to focus on the fundamentals; there is not much room for gimmick.


Touches is an exploration of the way the four of these instruments work together and how their capability spaces intersect. The gradients of the efficacy by which they approximate each others' functions form the landscape of the piece. This concept of "touching" between instruments is extended to the way information is handled by individual players (a focus on counterpoint) and more fundamentally to the situation and material quality of the sounds: attacks, resonances, and the tactile experience of fingering while breathing or bowing.


Written for Hub New Music at Red Note New Music Workshop, Feb. 2022, ISU

TouchesBen Rieke
00:00 / 09:04

Performers: Hub New Music

(Red Note festival 2022)