No 57 Signals (Scala III) (2014-2020)

For solo clarinet, sine waves and pre-recorded parts

Commissioned by: Michel Marang
First Performance: First Performance: (Part 1) November 21 2020, Michel Marang, Uilenburgersjoel, Amsterdam
Instrumentation: solo clarinet, sine waves and pre-recorded parts
Duration: 30’
Special Features: performance requires four surround loudspeakers

Score samples

Info/Program note:
Signals is a ca. 30’ piece for solo clarinet, sine waves and pre-recorded tracks written for clarinetist and photographer Michel Marang. Though started in 2014 Signals went through a very long gestation period of about 6 years before it was finally completed on paper during the initial lockdown period of Corona. The work is the third in a series of pieces which deal with rhythmicized melodic loops as its main source of organization. Where the earlier pieces in the series (Scala I & II) chiefly dealt with homophonic settings of a single line within the context of an ensemble, Signals, as a ‘solo’ piece, deals with independent, overlapping counterpoint between multiple lines; chiefly in the second part of the piece which aims at a sort of omnipresent ‘Jungle’ of interlocking lines reminiscent of Henri Rousseau’s more opulent Jungle paintings.

Like the earlier pieces, Signals consists of fragmented flurries of melody against changing harmonic backdrops in the sinewaves which then collect into phrases and sentences and then self-referentially expand into paragraphs and chapters. The work consists of 13 separate sections, consistently alternating between two types of music and over the course of the piece eventually traverses the entire range of the clarinet. The 13 sections are divided over three main parts, the first 6 sections in an extended ‘solo’ part, the following 5 in a densely contrapuntal part and the final 2 in a harmonic part, where the clarinet eventually returns to being a soloist. The first part of Signals was premiered in November 2020 with a video by Michel Marang.