• Juliana Hodkinson
  • Some Reasons for Hesitating (1999)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • (
  • 11 min

Programme Note

Some Reasons for Hesitating was written for Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Montréal.

First performance: Adelaide Festival of the Arts, March 2000.

The piece is held together not by the grid of vertical time-coordination (a common metre, common barlines) nor with the aid of a conductor, but by a network of interdependent local cues, such that the elements of each musician’s part – fragmented and incoherent as they are in isolation – serve by design as points of departure for the other musicians’ parts. So, the organising coherence of the whole is cut up into seemingly inert, formless elements containing on their own little information or meaning but gaining sense once put together.

The lack of a common framework to hold the sounds and silences results in a particular kind of waiting, in which the silent musician is involved in the possibility that the end of that waiting may come a little unpredictably or unexpectedly. One benefit of this kind of communication between musicians is an increased intensity of pauses and waiting; one risk is the danger of missing a cue altogether. These phenomena are welcome as audible signs that (the) performance is a creative act, relating hearing and action in a fragile process which requires constant adjustments and readjustments.


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