Blur:Squint (2002)

for saxophone quartet

Duration: 6'

Score available here

Parts available from the composer

Blur:Squint began as an exploration of a harmonic progression stolen from an earlier work of mine, Lament (2000).  The progression seemed to demand further compositional attention, so I decided to treat the four - measure idea to a couple of techniques that I had wanted to explore: phasing and mensuration canon.  The piece opens with the progression presented homophonically.   With each successive repetition, the four voices move more and more out of sync with each other (phasing).  The rate at which each voices misaligns is unique (mensuration), ensuring that the voices don't realign too quickly.  The combination of these two devices results in an ever-changing set of rhythmic and harmonic variations while maintaining the familiarity of the original progression. This process is interrupted four times by contrasting material of differing textures, creating a kind of rondo structure overall (ABACADAEA).  The piece ends when the voices realign with the original homophonic progression.