for tenor (or alto) saxophone (2006/2010)
The title of this piece refers to Robert Hooke's pioneering book of 1665 consisting of drawings of various microscopic objects, greatly magnified and rendered in extreme detail. The word is also used to describe an unusual condition related to Parkinson's disesase which results in excessively cramped and tiny handwriting.
In Micrographia, the saxophone is made the foil of a constant battle between two extremes: on the one hand, compact microtonal melodic lines unfolding in an extremely constricted space which seem to push toward ever greater compression and fineness; on the other, leaping melismatic lines with extremely large intervallic jumps going across the entire range of the instrument. Eventually, the urge toward intense compression and discretion collides with the boundary-stretching second material, resulting in a music at once atomized and highly energetic, the grain becoming ever finer until a single pole, becoming more and more prominent, brings the music back to its inital compressed state.