Clockwork was written in 1989 for violinist Lewis Kaplan. The title could be applied to almost any composition, for music is composed of an intricate superimposition of elements - rhythmic movement of part against part, changes in harmony, phrase structure, subsection, sections, and so forth. If this piece may lay special claim to the title it is because of a tendency towards regular, unchanging meters, occasional evocations of mechanical movements suggestive of the gears of a clock, and careful attention to the timing between the semi-descrete sections that make up the work as a whole. The piece is in four parts, the first of which (Lifeless) recurs throughout the piece, engulfing the other three parts (Turbulent, Searching, Restless). All sections are played attacca.
“Wispy violin lines mosquito fearfully above tiptoeing piano notes at the beginning of Sebastian Currier’s Clockwork, a darkly evocative work for violin and piano ... Gradually, an invisible hand seems to be winding up the mechanism of the title’s machinery and the tension grows more and more taut until suddenly the two players are off on a fiery, frenetic race against time.” —New York Times