(unfolding from unity)  for solo cello

Score from PSNY, click here

CD available from iTunes, click here

Link to New York Times article: The Music of Flow

This is the third piece, and the last of the solo works, from my Flow Cycle for Strings. Islamic pattern drawings and music encountered during a recent trip to Morocco both presented an intriguing concept of infinity.  In the drawings, simple tools are used to expand upon circles, forming hexagrams and other geometrically perfect shapes.  The shapes themselves are not infinite, but their layered intersection and elaborate extension imply a plane stretching well beyond the borders of the wall or door they decorate.  This "implied infinity" is a concept that works very well in musical terms, as a step beyond more literal translations of infinity as simple repetition of motives or chords.

Moroccan Flow is a study in translating the 'flow' of these endless lines that pass from one hexagram to the next into a musical line.  In addition to integrating a Moroccan dance-like motive of irregular time, it explores a similarity noted in how a six-sided shape fills in a circle, which musically relates to the circular organization of the twelve notes we have in equal-temperament: the circle of fifths. This piece was written for Alex Waterman, to whom it is dedicated.

First performance February 20, 2008, NYC at the Austrian Cultural Forum by Alex Waterman.  Composed 2006 in Fez and 2008 in New York City. Duration 12 minutes.

About the Flow Cycle

     “quietly virtuosic and addictive”

The Wire UK

    “Constructed as free fantasies, where moment-to-moment activity takes precedence over organizational unity, they articulate small details with energetic gestures - jolting, swooping, lilting rhythms; irregular phrase lengths and unexpected accents; string harmonics, bristling pizzicati, exaggerated bowing, and other tonal/textural effects.

But there is also an ever-present clarity of line and dramatic continuity that help the music sound subtly familiar and vigorously new at the same time." 

Fanfare Magazine

The Flow Cycle is influenced by Islamic Mosaics, Gnawa music of Morocco, Albert Camus' L'Étranger, and the Flow concept of Csíkszentmihályi.  While the first work "in flow" for solo violin uses an expansive linear approach to compose 'flow' of unrelated materials, each subsequent work (Shadow Flow for viola, Moroccan Flow (unfolding from unity) for 'cello, Duo Flow for violin and 'cello, and "à cause du soleil" Flow Trio for String Trio)  uses a sectional approach to create a mosaic-like experience of flow that is reflected in each of the works, which can be performed separately.

Moroccan Flow

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