Instrumentation: Bb clarinet
Duration: 12 minutes
Commissioned by ELISION for Carl Rosman

Subdue Excerpt

Programme Note

  1. To conquer; to bring into subjection; to vanquish; to destroy
  2. Tame; make submissive; repress; soften
  3. To till or cultivate

(1956 Webster’s Dictionary)

I am drawn to these three rather extreme descriptions of the same word. The fact that a single word can simultaneously denote violence, de-escalation, and fertility is rather extraordinary. In a way, the score subdues the performer via it’s restrictive and confining notation. However, through this suppression new possibilities emerge… new sonic material arise from the struggle between instrument, performer, and score.

Performance History
30th July 2019: (early version) Ian Potter Southbank Centre, Melbourne Vic, Australia – ELISION
30th October 2020: Online premiere (see below), Berlin, Germany – ELISION

Score Availability:
A3 full score, contact me