SKU: 199801 Category: Tags: , , ,


instrumentation: amplified ensemble: alt fl (picc), ob (eh), hpschd, vln, vc
date: 1998
duration: 8’45
details: 53 pages, including performance instructions; 11×17 landscape

Programme Note

toxin is a work of multiple and simultaneous processes of filtration and disintegration, of fragmentation and refraction. “Horizontal” decay occurs as various procedures are employed by which material is manipulated, frayed, torn, rearranged, etc., on multiple proportional and structural levels (from small sub-structural units within measure groupings, from one subsection to the next, between the four major sections, etc.). Likewise, material is filtered “vertically,” as various instrumental combinations offer a distilled “running commentary” on other ongoing events, concurrently setting the aural backdrop and responding to the results creating a kind of structural “loop” (and, additionally, becoming fodder for subsequent “horizontal” manipulation). As the work progresses, an order of operations develops wherein various permutational procedures are prioritized: from one subsection to the next, the variational procedures employed become more and more focused (transposition, augmentation/diminution, expansion/compression, etc.) and a clear hierarchy is established; this hierarchy then determines the size of the proportional units which undergo change, ranging from large subsection-wide units to note-to-note modifications (e.g., transposition of a ligature group, of a measure, of an entire subsection, etc.). In addition to this structural filtering, similar timbral processes occur which allow sound to decay and fragment. As such, it must be understood that the composer’s intention is to allow for and, on occasion, prioritize the “impurities” of instrumental sound.

toxin is dedicated in friendship and with thanks to Jay Alan Yim.

Audio Sample

June in Buffalo, 1999. (ad hoc ensemble; Erik Oña, conductor)

ad hoc ensemble. June in Buffalo Festival, June 1999.