The Hedgehog’s Dilemma

clarinet quartet (E♭, 2 B♭, bass)

Composed 2010, duration 1’00”

Dedicated to the New Zealand Clarinet Quartet.

The Hedgehog’s Dilemma, page 1The Hedgehog’s Dilemma, page 2

Performance by the New Zealand Clarinet Quartet, March 2010:

How can spiny animals get close to each other?

The image comes from the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who uses it to illustrate a point about human relationships. (It probably applies less accurately to actual hedgehogs.) By way of a creative misunderstanding, there is a link to the inherent fragility of the sound materials, which nonetheless are formed into composite timbres.