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Space and Proportion

Composed 2019



    Bass Clarinet


Duration 6'

Commissioned by

    2020 RED NOTE New Music Festival for        Transient Canvas

Performed by

    Transient Canvas:

    Amy Advocat, bass clarinet

    Matt Sharrock, marimba

Program Notes

    I knew from the outset that I wanted to play with the ideas of space and proportion after beginning such considerations in my piano piece Asteroid. That work is unequivocally restless and fast-paced, with intense gestures and furious figurational work defining the piece’s overall mood and atmosphere. Yet for me the composition of Asteroid broke new ground towards considering “when does a texture overstay its welcome?” and “what does space feel like in my particularly dense writing style?” These questions are the primary impetus towards this piece, which explores the relationship between sectional length and the density/space argument. We can have our cake and eat it, too – motives and gestures can play within spacious moments, and sections can be “mis-proportional” yet balanced in their completeness and overall feeling, independently and as a whole. The coin may also flip, where minimal textures need not imply a lack of forward motion. Instead, we can determine our own implications. Space is incredibly viscous and flexible, and no handbook or pre-established proportion towards such space will define what this concept means to us in context. Here, in this piece, I believe the answers began to emerge for me.

    Space and Proportion was gratefully composed for Amy Advocat and Matt Sharrock as Transient Canvas in the closing months of 2019 and was premiered as part of the 2020 RED NOTE Composition Workshop and New Music Festival at Illinois State University in February 2020.


Performance History

    02/12/2020 - RED NOTE New Music Festival, Illinois State University

                             Transient Canvas: Amy Advocat, bass clarinet and Matt Sharrock, marimba

red note group photo.jpg

A group photo from the 2020 RED NOTE New Music Festival

Joseph Foster Harkins


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