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Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


Composer's Notes

Why a minuet? For me, a minuet evokes a number of qualities: graceful, simple, understated, moderate, unadorned. It also seems, in part because of these characteristics, and also because minuets in general tend to shy away from extremes, to represent a certain state of normalcy. Why Broken? Most of the music I've written, in some way or other, involves bridging contemporary musical practices with music of the past. In this piece very short fragments of "minuet-like" music are used to establish a norm for which to gauge the ensuing passages that spin out into a generally more mysterious, ambiguous, and ethereal sound world.

The word "broken" isn't intended to express anything negative, but more simply the fragmentary nature of, and the large spaces between, the minuet-like fragments. Clearly this also creates an historical context: in this piece implicit connections with the past are made explicit and, if there is a point - and I'm not sure there needs to be - it is to demonstrate that they are complimentary, that there's no particular tension in this relationship. A dominant seventh chord can be followed by a intricate microtonal sonority without fanfare or a sense of disjuncture: past and present can happily mingle together (one just has to want them to). The five movements, marked elegant, fleeting, accentuated, calm, and gentle, all create different contexts and characters, but share one basic aspect: the minuet-like fragments are always the road signs, everything else the road itself.

— Sebastian Currier

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.



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