Percussion I: vibraphone
Percussion II: marimba, crotales
Duration: c. 8'
In fluttuazione/attimo, I explore a continuing interest in thematic and gestural identity, and the role of context in perceived function. The title (Italian for "fluctuation/instant" or "fluctuation/flash") broadly references the dichotomy in the manner of change throughout the piece. While the specific characteristics (most notably timbre and tempo) of any given moment fluctuate subtly throughout, abrupt flashes occur in which the direction of the piece seems suddenly refocused. With the accumulation of these structural shifts, a certain formal tension develops as material is seemingly abandoned, only to reemerge altered, or in a new context. The work opens with a slowly unfolding unison melody, each instrument articulating its own rhythm. Over a texture of jagged interjections, the unison starts to fragment, with the pitches passing from one instrument to another. Just as the line is lost, the ensemble suddenly gathers on a tutti tremolo note; however this unison now seems to serve more as an interruption. The centerpiece of the work features gently pulsating chords in the pianos and marimba. Here, the three instruments mimic the vibraphone motor, as the tempo shifts are set by its oscillation, creating a functional purpose for an otherwise decorative detail. As the piece draws to a close, a field of quiet, staccato pitches accompanies a brief sustained line before being interrupted by a two-note unison figure.