What Happens Next

What Happens Next is in two movements, slow and fast. The first, Hold Still, explores expansion, beginning with a soft duo of bass clarinet and viola over a drone. This motive finds its way back throughout the entire work. About two minutes in, faster music emerges in the woodwinds, though remaining in the background, under sustained tones. After this music dies down, the motives of before return, fragmented and drawn out. A cello line, consisting of repeated harmonics, repeats obstinately, speeding up and slowing down before becoming more regular, leading into the second movement, Never Too Late. This movement concentrates on compression, beginning with busy music over a series of repeating chords. From there, the flute, clarinet, and piano repeat a short, fast motive while slowing down, against a steady cello and droning viola. The next section is more spaced-out, recalling parts of the first movement. Small, percussive fragments of material gradually accrue until a mechanical piano line overtakes them, dragging the music into the last section. It becomes frantic, with sixteenth- note motives circling around different instruments while the piano keeps time, ending on an upward gesture.

Dynamic Music Festival Orchestra, David Bloom, conductor

instrumentation 1+picc.1.1+bc.1 — — piano —
premiere April 26, 2014, Provincetown Playhouse, NY, NY
written February – March, 2014
duration 13′

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