spaces : between : time, completed in December 2004, is a work exploring the juxtaposition of contrasting musical ideas and later the subsequent melding and interplay between those ideas. The most striking pair of elements used here is comprised of rhythmic ideas, and takes the form of short, percussive, staccato attacks and longer, legato, more sustained music. The shifting of the harmonies involved in each little section supports kind this contrast. The perception of many events occurring in quick succession (in the faster sections) and then sometimes slowing to a near standstill (in the more sustained sections, often involving a solo instrument) seemed to me to suggest an interesting elasticity in time, and was the inspiration for the work’s title.
The work begins with a frenzy of notes in the piccolo and piano, and slowly moves away from the jagged surface to a thinner texture which often takes the form of a duet or trio, in which the involved instruments change roles quickly, creating a kaleidoscope of timbral color. This rapid shift of timbre is itself suspended with the appearance of the solo flute, which is then taken over by the solo violin. From this point until the end, the music becomes much more agitated and the shifts involving the rhythmic, harmonic as well as the timbral ideas happen at a faster rate. Finally, the harmony becomes stuck on a small chromatic cluster, (first heard in the piano) while the other instruments are involved in ideas that were associated previously with rapidly-shifting harmony.
This piece was written specifically for the New York New Music Ensemble.