Structures (2015)

for flute, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, and cello (6′)



“Commissioned for premiere at the 2015 Tasmanian Composers Festival, Structures had the following brief: a response to the life of Tasmanian ANZAC Alec Campbell to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. Campbell’s experiences being so far removed from my own, the piece’s central attribute is a sense of duality. The ensemble is divided into two autonomous halves, whose temporal relationships are based on the ratio between Alec Campbell’s age at his death (101) and my own age at the time of writing (21). My key influences were Elliott Carter, John Cage and Steve Reich. Lesser influence was drawn from Thomas Ades, Anton Webern and Phillip Glass. The title describes how the ensemble’s two halves follow separate structural paths, one undergoing a process of steady structural lengthening, the other of steady shortening. In this way ‘Structures’ may be thought of as a two-part invention. Only, instead of comprising two lines in rhythmic counterpoint, it comprises two pieces in structural counterpoint. I would like to emphasise that Structures is entirely abstract, and no element is a programmatic reference to the original stimulus.”