Four by Four
Instrumentation: Two Pianos & Two Percussion
Composition Date: 1994
Commissioned: Hammerhead Consort
Four by Four was composed at the request of Hammerhead Consort. My overall intent was to design a form that would both exploit the potential of each player while still keeping an overall sense of cohesion and unity in the ensemble. The work is in four sections, each reflecting a different texture and the whole piece is connected by melodic and harmonic motifs. Section I is a canon consisting of five separate ideas. Section II exploits the percussive nature of all the instruments with the two percussionists being featured. Section III slows the rhythmic activity and focuses more on harmony. I also experiment with the spatial relationship of the two pianos. The last section contains five repeating cells which contain their own unique harmonic and rhythmic material. The overall texture is minimalist with abrupt changes keeping the listener off balance.