homage to varèse's "octandre"


click here for score sample in pdf (pages 1-2, 5-6, 8-9)



year: 2007         instrumentation: 1111; 1110; double bass        duration: 8'

commissioned by: gateSeven

premiered: gateSeven / Justus Rozemond, Wellington 15.11.2007

further performances: Masterton 17.11.2007

programme note: Edgard Varèse’s Octandre (1923) is arguably not trademark Varèse: missing are the menacing batteries of percussion that punctuate most of his important works. While the challenging idée fixe rhythmic unisons of works such as Ionisation are in evidence, in Octandre, melody is also to the fore. The work is, to my ears, both clinical and expressive, and, after umpteen listenings, it remains modern and fresh. It is the one work above all others that I go to when seeking inspiration. So, as a means of perhaps peeling back a few layers of mystery surrounding Octandre and also as a way of demonstrating my gratitude to it, I have written this homage, using Varèse’s same instrumentation and three movement structure.

pictured: gateSeven