Four Commentaries IV – Where Things Come From

Interpreting the title Where Things Come From required an unusual strategy. Clearly you can’t move a cello and piano very easily around the acoustic space! The solution here was to regard the ordering and arrangement of musical content, tempo, and expressive nature and colour as a surprise to the listener. This is heightened by a phrase structure based on the same modulated sine wave that can be found in the opening of Array for solo violin.
This structure is interspersed with pauses of an indefinite length (the players are asked to make these empty bars long enough for the listener to take in a different tempo, timbre or style of playing). Enterprising performers may reorder the musical structure in this commentary to provide a further element of surprise and excitement. This can be aided by the composer’s Active Notation System which uses an networked computer displays to present the instrumental parts.