Written for the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Leaping Dance was originally written in 1984 for two pianos. It explores abrupt tempo changes, performance at extremely high speed and different interlocking patterns. All of these are characteristics of some African music. In order to facilitate the interlocking at high speed, however I developed some new interlocking techniques, which have been modified in this version. In the first section, the same tune is re-interpreted at very different tempi, in different meters and lengthened and shortened irregularly. In the second section, a new tune is ornamented in various ways. The third section is a kind of recitative which involves ‘leaps’. The coda comes form my second string quartet, Hunting:Gathering, which was in turn derived from a song sung by two Xhosa girls.