written for Latitude 49
premiered February 2016, Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI
Instrumentation (6 players)
clarinet (b-flat, bass); saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor); percussion (see score); piano; violin; violoncello
The title Labyrinths arises more as a statement of structure than any sort of extra-musical narrative. Generally inspired by the musical-poetic philosophies of the late Pierre Boulez, the centerpiece of the work is an extended passage wherein the individual musicians are given the opportunity to select their out “route” through the form, with a decision being offered as to which large-scale sections to repeat independent of their peers. Aside from this rather literal maze, a tight network of canons and counterpoint create opportunity for different listeners to take multiple paths through the same work—a declaration both of the importance of the individual and of the multivalency inherent in the universe. The ending of the work is reflective, a “dream of escape” if such poetic terms must be applied, rather than a literal one, before retreating to silence.
The piece lasts approximately 15 minutes.