stirrings still

for alto flute, bass clarinet, percussion, vibraphone, piano, violin and cello

--- Jack Van Zandt

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for alto flute, bass clarinet, percussion, vibraphone, piano, violin and cello

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Composer Jack Van Zandt
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.18'


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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-jvz1ss1


I. Rise and Go
II. . . . disappear . . . and reappear in a different place . . .
III. A Better View of Venus
IV. . . . the hubbub in his mind . . .
V. A Clock Afar . . .

Stirrings Still takes its title from the Samuel Beckett prose work that inspired it. The titles of each movement come from fragments of the text that suggested music to me. Beckett’s unique literary method of recycling repeated words and phrases that are constantly reordered and permutated to build a story and atmosphere with a minimum amount of material gave me the idea for the structure of each movement that springs from their titles. The germ of the musical content came from two short pieces I wrote for the Fires of London while attending Peter Maxwell “Max” Davies’ composition class at the Dartington Summer School in 1977. As a student of this great teacher, and admirer of many of his works, I am quite familiar with Max’s methods of musical construction and incorporated some of those into this work that fit the circumstances of Beckett’s text, including the use of magic squares and isorhythms. My goal in this synthesis of materials was to create a musical analog to the poetics of Beckett in a way that celebrates the life and work of Maxwell Davies.