Improbable Mechanism

recorder quartet (2 alto, tenor, bass)

Composed 2008, duration 5:00

Dedicated to Bellatrix Recorder Quartet.
Comissioned by Caprice Arts Trust.

Improbable Mechanism, page 1Improbable Mechanism, page 2

Performance by Bellatrix Recorder Quartet, Wellington, 2008:

The title conjures Heironymus Bosch and Heath Robinson in equal measure: it is an elaborate mechanical contrivance, serving no discernible purpose; a rough assemblage of phrases on the verge of grammatical expression. Simultaneous mechanistic processes are used to generate material, and much of the music lies in the friction between the these layers. Through this there is an undercurrent of melodic outbursts, further subverted by quotations from the composer’s idiosyncratic recorder improvisations.

Improbable Mechanism was written for the Bellatrix Recorder Quartet, for their New Zealand tour in 2008.