Passages
for solo clarinet (2005)

I wrote Passages in 2005, as part of a series of solo wind pieces. I was interested in developing an extremely elastic kind of melodic writing, making extensive use of microtones (intervals smaller than semitones) and complex rhythms. The piece calls for many subtly-differentiated articulations throughout the entire register of the clarinet, as well as the instrument’s very wide dynamic range, from an almost inaudible whisper to the most intense fortissimo.

From a formal point of view, Passages opposes slow and fast sections in a regular alternation. In the slow sections, there is no discernible pulse, and the tempi are constantly speeding up or slowing down. The fast sections use pulsed rhythms, but the speed of the basic pulse changes in every bar.