Flex!

(2015)

 

for septet (fl, cl, pno, perc, vln, vla, vc)
Duration: c. 7'
Commissioned by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble
Program Note:

I composed a set of short movements using words that contain either the Latin root flex or flect, which mean “to bend.” The first movement “Genuflect Before Thee” pits the strings against the rest of the group. Each side rudely interrupts the other until someone in the ensemble decides to give in. “Thanks for Being Flexible” is a thank-you note to the strings for being so flexible with pitch. The strings carry the movement by gliding to each pitch within the harmony while the other instruments play melodic fragments and textural goodies. The third movement “Deflected Attempts” is inspired by the myriad of YouTube videos of cats knocking objects off tables. I composed the movement with a series of rising gestures that continuously get knocked down. The final movement “Upward Infection?” is dedicated to all of the late-teens, early-20-somethings, and Californians who consistently speak with an upward inflection at the end of declarative sentences…?