This piece has arisen from my continuing efforts to ‘grow a thick skin’ as a musician! In it can be heard moments of
confrontation, vulnerability, assertiveness, discomfort and probably a whole range of emotions in between.
The ‘bulletproof’ part of the title has already been explained here. The ‘petals’ part not only alludes to the aforementioned
vulnerability – it was inspired by the fact that I used to participate in a band that played Sidney Bechet’s Petite Fleur (Little Flower).
Michael Norris’ article, Notes from a compositional/pedagogical apprenticeship, (printed in CANZONA 2005) is used as starting point for this piece. It is intended to be an artistic response to the article, a tongue-in-cheek realisation of some of the conceptual aspects that Michael discusses.
Improbable Mechanism is dedicated to the Bellatrix Recorder Quartet. The title conjures Heironymus Bosch and Heath Robinson in equal measure: it is an elaborate mechanical contrivance, serving no discernible purpose; a rough assemblage of phrases on the verge of grammatical expression. Simultaneous mechanistic processes are used to generate material, and much of the music lies in the friction between the these layers. Through this there is an undercurrent of melodic outbursts, further subverted by quotations from the composer’s idiosyncratic recorder improvisations.