Splintered Instruments, written for harp and ensemble, lasts around 11 minutes and is in one continuous movement. The role of the harp is not just as soloist, setting a musical 'agenda' for the other players, but also as something of a sonic catalyst. In my mind, I imagined the harp gradually picking up the rest of the ensemble and building a super-instrument. The initial fragmentation of the ensemble caused by this approach suggested the title. Every motif from the harp is tugged around by the other players, thrown into relief, and debated. At its most obvious, string pizzicati and other sharp outbursts ricochet around the harp gestures, but the ensemble also adds 'resonance' to the harp lines, gradually building cohesiveness and independence. This dialogue builds up with increasing virtuosic intensity until a series of repetitive harp gestures subdues the other instruments at the work's close.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer.