The nacelle is the main body of the top portion of a modern wind turbine, an enclosure housing an electrical generator, power control equipment, disc brakes and a gearbox. Rotating on its tower to constantly face the prevailing breeze and responding to wind force by setting thresholds for propeller speed, the nacelle is the brains of the operation. Nacelle continues my exploration of metric modulation and its relation to the movement and behaviour of machines, though with the added element of a soloist, who steers the music’s path through different tempi as well as defining the direction of the music’s texture and language; the soloist is the brains of the operation. Two cadenzas allow for an escape from the rigours of the metric scheme, where a subjective take on the timing of proceedings is permitted.
In 2003 I lived close to Wellington’s wind turbine and indulged in regular walks to the landmark.
Nacelle was performed in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland by 175 East in April and May of 2003 with solo clarinetist Gretchen Dunsmore.