for harp (2005), 6′
Commissioned by harpist Kristie A. Smith
Performed at the American Harp Society Summer Institute, University of Southern California, June 2005, and at the Midwest Composers Symposium, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Feb. 2006.
I like to describe clockwork as continuous variations on a single measure of music. My goal was to compose music that focuses the listener’s attention on the minute changes from one moment to the next and that keeps the listener always in suspense, so that the changes are never predictable. The piece is divided into several sections, each with its own diatonic set and modal configuration (what John Adams calls “gates”). Each section is slightly lower in register than the last. At the very end, the music ascends once more to the register in which it began.
clockwork also appears, in a transcription for piano, as the third movement of Machines.