Interstices

Complete Work Title: 

Interstices


Performance Medium: 

flute/piccolo, soprano/tenor saxophone, percussion (one player)


Movements: 

• strands and mutations
• phase-transition 1
• ref(ra/le)ction
• phase-transition 2
• quantum entanglement
• phase-transition 3
• redshift/blueshift
• phase-transition 4
• [coda]

NOTE: These movements may be played in eight possible permutations, beginning with any of the four trios and proceeding forward or backward from there.


Duration: 

c.20:00


Dedication: 

for Gregory Dewhirst


Date Composed: 

October 2013 - March 2014


Performance Information: 

The three performers are set up at several stations across the entire stage, corresponding with each movement. Percussion battery includes 6 bell plates (station 1); 3 wood blocks, 3 log drum(s), 2 sizzle cymbals, 3 opera gongs, small tam-tam, 3 triangles, 2 bongo drums (station 2); tambourine, vibraslap, ratchet, metal coil, hi-hat, cowbell, temple block (station 3). Players may begin with any movement and proceed in either direction; each of the four trio movements is connected by a brief solo interlude for each of the four woodwind instruments.


Additional Information: 

Commissioned by Tarrant County College and saxophonist Gregory Dewhirst


Performance History: 

Cassie Lear, flute/piccolo; Alexander Richards, soprano/tenor saxophone; Rebekah Ko, percussion:
• 6 March 2016; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

Kristan Dewhirst, flute/piccolo; Gregory Dewhirst, soprano/tenor saxophone; Joseph Klein, percussion:
• 10 November 2014; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

Kristan Dewhirst, flute/piccolo; Gregory Dewhirst, soprano/tenor saxophone; Warren Dewey, percussion:
• 29 April 2014; Tarrant County College, Southeast (Arlington, TX)

Kristan Dewhirst, flute/piccolo; Gregory Dewhirst, soprano/tenor saxophone; Peter Ferry, percussion:
• 21 March 2014; University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL)—North American Saxophone Alliance Conference [premiere]


Program Notes: 

As the title suggests, Interstices explores the idea of “between-ness” in its various manifestations: intervallic relationships, the percussion instruments’ intermediary function between the two wind instruments, the changing relationship between the flute/piccolo and soprano/tenor saxophones, the continuously changing physical space between the three performers, and the function of the solos between the tutti sections. These various “spaces” are in flux throughout the entire work, as the elements that define them are constantly transformed. The work consists of four trios, each for a different pairing between the four wind instruments with percussion, which are connected by brief solo sections: performers may begin on any of the trio movements and proceed in either direction through the sequence, ending with a truncated reprise of the opening movement. In ref(ra/le)ction, the piccolo and tenor saxophone follow independent trajectories through a palindromic arrangement of four distinct musical identities, resulting in continuously changing relationships between the two parts. In strands and mutations, a series of descending and expanding arpeggio figures in the piccolo and soprano saxophone is gradually transformed, and ultimately fragmented and recombined before resuming their initial state. In quantum entanglement, the relationship between noise elements, dense figuration, and silence is explored, resulting in a kind of micro-level interference between the three instruments. In redshift/blueshift, a repeating melodic fragment undergoes transformations based on oscillations of several musical parameters—intervals, registers, durations, attack points, and dynamics—generating a series of phasing cycles within and between the flute and tenor saxophone parts. Interstices was composed between October 2013 and March 2014 for saxophonist Gregory Dewhirst on a commission from Tarrant County College, and was first performed by Gregory Dewhirst, Kristan Dewhirst, and Peter Ferry on 21 March 2014 for the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at The University of Illinois.