Commissioned by the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, with financial support from The PRS Foundation for new music and Arts Council England.

  • 4fl.4cl/4tpt.4tbn/4vn.4vc
  • 26 min

Programme Note

In the autumn of 2004 I met with Daniel Libeskind in New York to discuss the idea of creating a composition that would evolve directly out of a response to his extraordinary architecture. It was also my intention that the piece should be performed primarily in the buildings which inspired it, superimposed into the existing space and electronically adapting to the spatial differences of each location. It as a very positive meeting that resulted in a collaboration between the Imperial War Museum North and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, two remarkable and very different structures.

Discovering any new space is a temporal as well as spatial experience. The eye takes ‘mental snap-shots’ from many different angles that accumulate in time to form an eventual comprehension of an entire three-dimensional environment. In the compositional process I have translated this sonically into a continuous unfolding of musical fragments, punctuated by silence, that extend in duration from 1 second to 34 seconds using the Fibonacci sequence: 1:2:3:5:8:13:21:34. The music is harmonically controlled throughout by a constantly recurring cycle of eight twelve-note chords, out of which all the vertical materials are derived.

The piece is scored for an ensemble of 24 musicians and live electronics, with the players split into four identical sextets of flute and clarinet (with doublings), trumpet, trombone, violin and cello. Each instrument is individually amplified in order for the music to be sound processed and spatially projected throughout the building, engulfing the listener in a plethora of constantly shifting aural perspectives.

I would like to extend grateful thanks to my collaborator David Sheppard of Sound Intermedia for his invaluable contribution in bringing to life the multitude of electronic components that are an integral part of this composition.

© 2007 Simon Bainbridge