Mills Mess

for large ensemble

Ryan Latimer

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for large ensemble

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Composer Ryan Latimer
Year of Composition 2015
Duration ca.5'
Forces picc, fl, ob, cl, bn/cbn, tpt, tbn, 2perc, pf, strngs (
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rl1mm1


The ‘Mills Mess’ is a popular juggling pattern, developed by Steve Mills in the 1970s. The maneuver is renowned for its visual discontinuity and practical complexity; “a mind-boggling pattern of circling balls, crossing and uncrossing hands, and unexpected catches” (George Gillson). Also encouraged is the use of claws, chops and other flourishes to further disrupt the already irregular visual patterns.

The piece aims to capture the essence of this style through the use of fragmented and hocketing basslines, repeating yet continually adjusting rhythmic patterns, cascading flourishes and a discontinuous form, as well as a general boisterousness in the material itself.

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