(en)twine was a real learning experience for me. My first work for solo harp – and the first where I really had to think about how a harp actually works (my student work The String Thing included a harp but its part consisted entirely of arpeggiated accompaniment figures). My immense gratitude goes to American harpist Kimberly Howser who patiently answered all my harp questions and checked over the score for playability considerations.
(en)twine‘s salient feature is the series of sudden switches between themes and figures, which intertwine and corrupt one another. In performance, these must each be clearly characterised, making them distinct from one another, while maintaining the structural coherence of the work. The principal themes are a fanfare-like figure (played non-arpeggiato), two related syncopated themes, and arpeggiated passages played close to the soundboard to create a guitar-like sound.
Structurally, this work is similar to Shimmer (which draws its structure from Stravinsky’s broken-lines model in the Symphonies of Wind Instruments) but with fragmentation of the themes – not just juxtaposition – a central factor.
This recording is a MIDI-generated performance.