2) Shudder (Fragmented Connexions)

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2) Shudder (Fragmented Connexions)


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
3 minutes
Modern classical music
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Fragmented Connexions For Clarinet, Viola, & Piano

Fragmented Connexions explores how the Clarinet, Viola, and Piano can be blended in two ways: first, the instruments are made to sound like one another and second, the instruments are made to work together to form a single united timbre or one three-player instrument.�The work is unified by two common pitch rows (derived from the movement Soundscape) and the rhythms presented in Sonic Theatre I.

The follwing are taken from the notes in the score.

Fragmented Connexions consists of seven movements:

Sonic Theatre I




Crystal Line


Sonic Theatre II

The piece can be performed in one of three ways.�First it is possible to perform the seven movements as documented above.�Alternatively, the movement order can be re-arrangedso long as the two Sonic Theatres frame position is retained.�The third method requires a creative approach by the players.�Each movement contains one or more � signs.�Each � denotes the end or beginning of a fragment.�For example, movement 3 (Scherzo) consists of four fragments (bb1-6, 7-23, 24-41, 42-55).�This third way allows the players to break the piece into its individual fragments and recompose the structure to form new movements.�It might be decided that a fragment from another movement is inserted at a given � or that the fragments are completely reassembled.�The two Sonic Theatre movements do not contain any � marks.�That said, they could be broken up in any manner the players see fit and could potentially be used as bridging material as well as framing movements.�When mixing or reassembling fragments, players can reuse individual fragments as many times as desired or exclude them completely, so long as the whole piece lasts between 7 & 15 minutes.�When joining some fragments, players will have to be judicious in their approach to linking them; minor changes can be made to the parts at the join points to accommodate such segueing.�Players should also be careful to consider physical limitations to the re-assembling process such as page turning and the use of special effects that require time to prepare (such as in Soundscape).�A possible way of dealing with the former issue is to photocopy the score and cut and paste it in the desired manner.�

Theatrical Production In live performance a number of theatrical devices can be employed to enhance the audiences experience.�In the following notes some suggestions for lighting and other elements are given.�In the case of a true fragmented performance (version three above), the theatrical design should be adapted to fit the fragmented structure in a suitable manner.

Shudder This movement explores both facets of the works concept: that of uniting the instruments in one common timbre, and seeking to make the instruments sound like one another.�To the first end, tremolandi are employed throughout the movement.�In addition, the natural percussive attack and slow decay of the piano is also explored by all three instruments.�During theatrical performance different coloured lighting washes can be used throughout the shuddering sections (tremolo) with one gradually morphing into another.�In bb31-45 the stage should gradually turn a fiery red succeeded by a dramatic shift to another colour (or white) in bar 47.

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