For: Large mixed ensemble
page one of Strata

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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This piece was composed for Steve Dummer’s group Talkestra using the same orchestration as that for Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. It was first performed by Talkestra at St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico, London on 23/01/2010 and later that year at The Friends Meeting House, Brighton on 25/04/2010.

In this piece each instrument has its own music and only plays that music. The clarinet only ever plays its music, the Bassoon only its music etc. The side drum does not have its own music but just punctuates the music at certain key structural points. The music starts with alternating pairs of instruments. As there are six instruments there are 15 possible combinations. The combinations are arranged so that no instrument plays consecutively. Each instrument starts its music from where it last left off. Gradually the length of time each pair play becomes shorter, in other words the changes between the pairs becomes quicker. When the pairs are changing very quickly all six instruments play simultaneously as if the changing pairings have been accelerating to this moment. After this section the instruments play an irregular rhythmical unison but to the notes of their music. The long dissonant chord that ends this section is the climax of the work. There now follows a passage where the work unwinds. In this passage each instruments music, with the exception of the clarinet, is transformed into a slow triplet form of the music. The clarinet music, being slow enough to span the duration of the triplet rhythms, stays the same.

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