In late January 2003, I flew to Tallahassee, Florida for the Biennial Festival of New Music at Florida State University to hear Deborah Bish and Pat Meighan perform my Duo Sonata on one of the morning concerts. Pat and Debbie performed the piece – all four movements – from the score side-by-side inching down the row of seven or so music stands. It was a fine musical performance, of course, but the visual presentation was fantastic as they practically danced together across the length of the stage, which was a big hit with the audience.(Between movements, I envisioned a typewriter snapping back to the beginning to begin a new line – or movement.) There was one Moment in particular that I recall from this performance: In the last movement, Arrival (Blues), Debbie stomped her foot at the first harmonic and melodic change of her part. Although an accident, it was perfectly timed and was akin to those “perfect” drum-fills in a rock/jazz/pop tune. It was a great moment for me, since I have always wanted to compose for an instrumentalist who might be willing to move or dance percussively as an accompaniment to her own instrument.
The day after the performance, I had an enthusiastic discussion with Debbie about the Moment, and we agreed to collaborate on a project consisting of three works for her. clarikinetics is the first of these pieces.
clarikinetics is a fantasy-etude of sorts that demands quite a number of so-called extended techniques from the performer including circular breathing, steady rhythmic endurance, and physical motion including foot-stomping and toe-tapping while making use of the clarinet’s entire range.
clarikinetics was written for Deborah Bish and was completed on July 31, 2003 in Potsdam, NY.