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A Handful of False Starts and Dead Ends is the latest in a series of pieces exploring simple forms of linear motion. The musical language is deliberately flat, even two-dimensional, and utilises materials that seem to have become disused or left behind in a post-tonal contemporary context: diatonic scales and simple chords. The title suggests failure, giving up, botched attempts at progression or growth, problems without solution, the intractable and irreconcilable, and especially inertia or stymied momentum. The work is in five movements: three lethargic distant mirages intercut with two brief moments of pedantic immediacy.
Commissioned by Ensemble Proton Bern for Protonwerk
02 Mar 2020: Performed by Ensemble Proton Bern (Gregor A. Mayrhofer, conductor; Bettina Berger, flute; Martin Bliggenstorfer, Lupophon; Richard Haynes, clarinet; Elise Jacoberger, contraforte; Mathilde Bernard, harp; Samuel Fried, piano; Maximilian Haft, violin; Jan-Filip Ťupa, cello) at Dampfzentrale Bern, Bern, Switzerland