Desmond Clarke - Music for Miniature Landscapes


Music for Miniature Landscapes, for guitar quartet, was written in 2014 for the highSCORE festival in Pavia, Italy. The piece uses statistically generated fields, superimposed onto simple algorithmic processes and the occasional 'compositional' intervention to create complex but intuitable textures and progressions. The work is characterised by long parametric transformations that cause the music to move between states: dense texture to monody, obvious to incoherent and so on. However, these states differ only in terms of the magnitude of the variables used in their generation and do not exhibit any boundaries or transitions: any state changes, then, are phenomena which are imposed ‘from the outside’ by the listener, as are the details of exactly what they are and when they occur.

Tuning information:

The piece uses two systems - a JI scordatura tuned from the guitar harmonics, and 24ET.

Composer bio:

Desmond Clarke (b. 1989) is a composer and oboist based in the north of England. His music has been performed extensively around the UK, particularly in Yorkshire, as well as in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada. In 2015 he won the RPS Composition Prize, and was selected as one of the RSNO's inaugural young composers in residence. His compositional interests include the use of algorithmic and stochastic processes, microtonality, spectral techniques and just intonation. These tools, coupled with a lifelong passion for art music of every period, lead to works which embody a contemporary aesthetic, but which, for better or worse, never fully escape from a classical sensibility. His projects as of early 2018 include an ongoing series of works using fixed and live-generated video scores to explore the boundaries and overlaps between notated and improvised music.