mechanical trees (2014)

for bassoon, piano, percussion and page turns | ca. 4′

In mechanical trees I wanted to engage in a brief yet critical examination of one of concert music’s most bizarre and admittedly outdated technological conventions: the page. Each leaf of the parts has only one measure on the right hand side, and the instrumentalists are often asked to turn the page rapidly (volti subito, or V.S.) in order to proceed from one passage to the next.

The first measure begins together, but thereafter the parts are not synchronized, and are executed at will. The parts may stop (i.e. run out of pages) at different times; the piece ends when the last page is turned.

Score (PDF)

Below is a video of the premiere, given at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, ME:

 

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