The Constant

for Atlas ensemble (14 performers) – 2013 – 9′

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for ensemble (shakuhachi, duduk, shô, sheng, 2perc., pipa, zheng, qanun, erhu, sarangi, viola, violoncello, contrabajo) – 2013 – 9′

The Constant: out of a bell pattern was written for and premiered by the Atlas Ensemble, conducted by Artjom Kim. The piece explores three different “consequences”, three parallel universes growing out of a very basic gesture (the double gong pattern), whose core structure (short-long) conforms as well the general construction of the whole piece. After a “common tuning” sort of rite (which seeks to put everyone in tune going beyond traditions a the most basic common element) the instruments interact, interlock and complement each other.

It was a privilege working with this ensemble which I had long admired, as well as studying the techniques, possibilities and traditions of all these special instruments.

Premiered at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in December 2013

Original program notes:

“The Constant is my first attempt in writing for the Atlas Ensemble. The nature of the piece could be described as taking a glimpse to three parallel universes, three possible consequences out of a bell pattern, the bell pattern in the subtitle. Sometimes the same materials appear in all three, though maybe acting in a slightly different way, or looking different, like being more or less aged in respect to their other “selves”. The distance taken by the observer makes all the main gestures appear mainly by interaction rather than individually. A very special piece built in the middle of so many inestabilities, The Constant it’s hoped to guide all of us in these times of fear and changes.”