• Karsten Fundal
  • The Wings of a Butterfly (1997)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • vn, va, cl(bcl), acc
  • 6 min

Programme Note

This piece is based on a kind of mathematical model, in which I as the composer constantly make choices that are fed back into the calculation process. Every time I make a choice it has far reaching consequences on later development, which in turn directs my choices.

This is called a feed-back process and is very important in chaos theory. The main discovery of this theory is that chaos is not simply chaos, but can often contain laws which, however, lie outside the traditional linear mathematics.

The famous sentence inspiring this piece is taken from the chaos theory and states that 'a butterfly flapping its wings in Peking can cause a thunderstorm in Mexico'. A very tiny event can cause a great turbulence, because of the unimaginable complexity of feed-back systems in nature. The poetic idea of the sentence is also inspiring and the seemingly unpredictable fluttering flight of a butterfly has also greatly inspired the character of the music in this piece.

- Karsten Fundal