ELEVEN was written for the San Francisco Conservatory clarinet studio as a companion piece to Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint (both are scored for 9 Bb and 2 bass clarinets). I am a great admirer of Reich’s unique combination of intricately interlocking patterns, jazzy harmony, and propulsive rhythms, and I have been greatly influenced by his work. But while I admire much in his approach, I am ultimately a good deal less patient than he is – in my own compositions, I tend to want patterns to change more rapidly and dramatically, and to employ more narrative forms. In ELEVEN, I use very Reich-ish materials, but treat them in a freer, more narrative, more whimsical manner than he would. The piece is both an homage to a composer I greatly admire, and a declaration of independence from the strict processes and careful control that characterize his music.
9 Bb clarinets, 2 bass clarinets
San Francisco Conservatory Clarinet Studio on April 4, 2010