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Fragments (2009)

Flexible Music for electric guitar, alto saxophone, piano and percussion

As implied in the title, Fragments consists of a sequence of musical patches in which several motives and gestures are freely repeated and expanded over 26 sections. The score is written out roughly in time and is generally initiated by means of cues. In this sense it is not a 'rational' piece of music - in which ideas are logically calculated - but mainly indulges in gestures, which enable our ears to naturally grasp the interplay between timbre and individual layers, resulting in a natural poly-meter. The glissandi and quartertones are the substantial ideas of the piece, which are then enhanced by other non-well-tempered pitches as a form of timbral expansion.

The electric guitar plays an important role in Fragments. It is often the stem and substance from which the other instruments derive their variants. Complementary to this, the percussion and (percussive) piano add a different sound world to Fragments, while the saxophone acts as a counterpart to the guitar: at times moving away and becoming a shadow of the guitar and at other times leading the guitar, and doubling the piano. With the use of the ebow, the piano plays both resonant drones as well as functioning as an extension of the percussion. While maintaining its original character throughout, the percussion starts independently at the beginning of the piece but gradually finds itself assimilated within the rest of the ensemble by the end.