nacelle


click here for score sample in pdf (pages 1-7)



year: 2003     instrumentation: fl, bs cl; hn, bs trb; vc, db; solo clarinet     duration: 11'

commissioned by: 175 East

premiered: by 175 East cond. Hamish McKeich, with Gretchen Dunsmore solo clarinet, Christchurch, April 2003

further performances:
- 175 East/Dunsmore in Wellington and Auckland, April and May 2003
- Ensemble Reconsil Vienna cond. Roland Freisitzer, Thomas Schoen clarinet, Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna, 10.04.13


programme note: 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 (pictured).

Nacelle was commissioned by 175 East, with the solo clarinet part written for Gretchen Dunsmore.