Pivot review
(click image for larger version)

7/7/01 for clarinet, violin and cello

Composer’s note

The most obvious ‘Pivot’ in this piece is the cellist, who remains physically immobile while the other players are free to move. Musically, however, it is the cello part which moves, pivoting around a fixed harmonic point implied by the violin and clarinet.

In much of my current work, I am interested in exploring the drama which is inherent in a live musical performance. In classical music, it is conventional to attempt to ignore or minimise this drama; we pretend that it’s ‘just music’, and anything else is extraneous. If a pop band came on stage dressed in black, sat down behind music stands, and sight-read the music, stopping for lengthy periods between songs to retune their instruments, we might advise them to work on their stage act. In the noh theatre of Japan, the music is deeply embedded within in a highly stylised theatrical form. In parts of Africa, music and dance (and magic and medicine) are so closely intertwined that there may be no word for just ‘music’ as we understand it.

With this in mind, I find it difficult now to write ‘just music’. In ‘Pivot’, the theatrical elements were in fact ‘composed’ first, defining the musical form to be used.


Written for and first performed by Two’s Company

Hector Scott violin
Shinobu Miki clarinet
Alison Lawrance cello

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 7/7/01 (see review–>)

Duration 3′