Propulsive Instability

Chamber ensemble (1.1.1.1, 2.0.0.0, strings)

2018

8’30

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.

Winner of Ensemble Apex's 2019 call-for-scores competition and premiered at The Wild, December 2021.

The complexity of this work showcases advanced chamber groups through a whirlwind of exciting, rhythmically challenging ideas.

Running, Thinking, Breathing - Title.png