Growing Block View (2013)
for bass clarinet, tuba, string bass, and piano
III. Square One
Growing Block View is the name of a theory about time. It describes how a viewer perceives the universe as a block that continuously grows with time. The past and present both exist, but the future does not. When a constant state of the present unfolds, the block grows simultaneously. Similar to the title's description, this work features several blocks of sound that gradually expand. In fact, the working title for this piece was "Begin Again," which stems from the starting, stopping, and restarting nature of its thematic development. With each restatement of original themes, the blocks grow more and more into the future.
Three movements each explore the sensation of growth. The first, Enchained, features a one-pitch figure that expands, revs into a clamorous halt, and then restarts. The fits and starts progress through contrasting invocations of styles, such as gestures that may be found in electronica music. But ultimately, the movement returns to the past, "enchained" to the one-pitch figure. In the second movement, Anticyclone, spooling melodies and blurry textures depict the spreading haze that can occur in an anticyclone phenomenon. The opposite of cyclones, anticyclones are calm. In summer, they create hot and dry conditions, with no clouds, while in cold conditions, they can produce fog and frost overnight. The last, Square One, returns to themes from the first movement, but this time, they are presented from different perspectives.
Growing Block View was commissioned by the Holben Publishing Consortium.