for steps that grow when climbed

Fall 2008 – Winter 2009, rev. 2011

for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, tom-toms, marimba, piano, viola, double bass and electronics; 7:30

…for steps that grow when climbed is characterized by perpetually expanding sections (thus, the title) that are articulated by discontinuous moments. At the same time, movement and (dis)continuity characterize the relationships between voices that define sectional identity. As a result, the piece illustrates how multiple continuities can simultaneously occur on different hierarchical levels, which can be interrupted and restarted to create various kinds of musical statements. One of the ways that the piece achieves these (dis)continuities is by juxtaposing the acoustic ensemble with electronically-processed versions of its gestures. The piece also asks the acoustic ensemble to mimic computer processes to further illustrate how human and electronic elements interact. In this way, electronic voices interpret human ones and vice versa. These moments of synthesis are juxtaposed with moments that are purely acoustic and purely electronic. The result is a variety of relations that are characterized by different distances relative to a continuum defined by the poles of acoustic (human) and electronic (computer).