• Karsten Fundal
  • Butterfly (1994)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, acc
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Butterfly is the first in a series of my works which use a so-called recursive technique. The idea, in short, is that the various parts play the same music but in different tempi and in such a way that they influence each other every time they meet.

This means that each part at a given time has its own particular locus in what is principally the same course while the parts, as mentioned, influence each other, a rather complicated and almost paradoxical situation.

Such a development is almost chaotic, yet has some specific qualities dependent on which points of departure are chosen.

This has resemblance to certain events in nature, for instance when a typhoon or a storm is constituted or when a desert is moulded. A small tendency to a change originates tendencies to other changes which are still minor but which intensify and together with other changes gradually become dominant.

The work is fairly short because each tone requires so much calculation. Thus a considerable work has been spent on the piece but later on a computer programme has been made for me in order to take care of the ’non-musical’ part of the work, so I can now use the technique to write longer pieces .

The title is referring to a well-known sentence of the chaos theorists about the ’butterfly-effect’: ’That a butterfly fluttering today in Beijing may change the weather frontline in New York next month’. But also the unforeseenable but very poetic flight of the butterfly has been an source of inspiration of the work.

- Karsten Fundal