Dead In The Water
b fl, fixed media (4ch)
Margaret Lancaster
Adrian Knight Music
September 29, 2014
Gallery MC
New York, NY (US)
Margaret Lancaster, b fl


I wrote ‘Dead in the Water’ for Margaret Lancaster in 2014. The piece is an exploration of stasis in four adjacent sections:

1  an opening
2  a reduction of the opening material using only ‘black keys’
3  a series of palindromes
4  a return to the opening, a half step up

The prerecorded electronic track uses samples that Margaret recorded: a hidden, virtual consort, accompanying the soloist. Harmonic planes intersect each other and combine to form strange chains of partially recycled components. There was a kind of persistence to follow these chains to their logical conclusion, but in doing so, the piece ‘sacrificed’ its inner mobility, becoming a slave to the harmonic current. I was not satisfied with these limitations, so the piece evolved through an organic, intuitive process: bits and pieces chopped off, new ones attached, overall attributes and individual events altered. I wanted ‘Dead in the Water’ to evoke the feeling of stasis by tracing a meandering pathway along a straight line: not quite settling, repeating but never exactly, advancing and retreating, promising an exit only to immediately close it. I was lured into the maze by a surreal sense of possibility against complete rigidity, a witness to two opposites absurdly negotiating, or, as my laconic former self stated in an early note: ‘a waltz in 4/8’.

︎︎︎Score Excerpts

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