Propulsive Instability (2018) – PDF download (score and parts)
Chamber ensemble (220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, strings)
Propulsive Instability aims to capture a feeling of unhinged desperation. The persistent and agitated rhythmic drive evokes a wild, animalistic fixation; stalking, hunting, chasing. The bookend sections of the piece exploit a heavy (almost Stravinskian) use of syncopation and irregular metres to create a surging, unpredictable rhythmic energy. Imagine you are running faster than your body can bear, and existing in a panicked state of perpetual forward motion – hence the title, Propulsive Instability. The central sound-world uses triplets in unusual groupings to create a curiously wonky groove. It subverts our musical expectations and leads to exciting rhythmic surprises. Underneath, the ominous bass-line presses on.
The complexity of this work showcases talented chamber groups through a whirlwind of exciting, rhythmically challenging ideas.
Winner of Ensemble Apex's 2019 call-for-scores competition and premiered at The Wild, December 2021.