Synchromesh Synergy
for 14 players
Year: 2001
Duration: 4'
First Performance: 2 March 2001 Cultureel Gigant Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
  ensemble ereprijs
2 (I=picc.).0.bcl.2 sax (Bb sop., Eb bar.).0.- perc. (1): mar./vib./3 tom-t/ SD- pno.- elec. gtr. (w/ distortion, wah-wah, and volume pedals)- electric bass  

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Program Notes:

syn-chro-mesh (sîng´kre-mèsh´, sîn´-) noun
1. An automotive gear-shifting system in which the gears are synchronized at the same speeds before engaging to effect a smooth shift.
2. A gear in such a system.
- syn´chro-mesh´ adjective

syn-er-gy (sîn´er-jê) noun
plural syn-er-gies
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

[From Greek sunergia, cooperation, from sunergos, working together. See synergism.]

Synchromesh Synergy is a kind of crazy, highly energized little piece. As the words defined above might suggest, it is built around small groups of instruments which form units that are in turn combined with each other to create the texture and flow of the music.

The synchromesh idea is most notable in the unit comprised of two flutes and soprano saxophone (I should have used an oboe :-/ and later with horn, trumpet, and electric guitar, which play similar melodies with slightly different rhythms intended to "blur" the cumulative effect of their individual lines. Towards the end of the piece, their rhythmic patterns get less complicated and move towards rhythmic unison, until they (the flutes, anyway) finally play together in the very last two bars.

I have always been fascinated with the idea of "weaving" melodies by having the same lines played simultaneously at different tempi or in slightly different rhythms. This technique creates (theoretically, anyway) a melody that is highly textured, much in the same way that a painter might use gobs of paint (or several different colors) to somehow abstract a depiction of a relatively ordinary object.




Chronological Work List


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