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Encoded in the Ancestry of a Male Bee

for solo trombone

Year:  2005   ·  Duration:  7m

Year:  2005
Duration:  7m

Composer:   Rachael Morgan

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1

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This work began as an exercise in the use of L-Systems as a compositional tool, inspired by Hanspeter Kyburz's Cells and Michael Norris' research into methods of using these patterns. L- Systems are algorithms designed by the biologist Aristid Lindenmayer to imitate natural processes of growth and decay and can be musically interpreted in various ways. Three different L-Systems were used for this work; the example on the following page is that of the first movement. Here, and similarly in the third movement, each letter of the pattern was substituted with a different musical gesture. Using gesture rather than specific motifs allowed more compositional freedom to develop ideas while working within the set pattern. In order to create a more lyrical second movement, I experimented with substituting pitch class sets to the pattern, rather than gestures. As a result, the musical growth that is evident in the other movements is not so clear. No mathematical system can be adhered to precisely without a loss of musicality, hence the L-systems I used quickly became macrostructural. These patterns also reach a point where there is too much self-similarity and they must be abandoned in favour of musical intuition. The title refers to the Fibonacci series. Many L-systems (although not the following example!) bear a relationship to this in the length of each new generation.

Dedication note

Written for Grant Sinclair

Contents note

three movements

Performance history

22 Nov 2006: Performed by Grant Sinclair (trombone) at St Andrew's on The Terrace, Wellington

Performed by Grant Sinclair (trombone)