by Claire Jordan
for fifteen musicians
Clarinet in Bb
French Horn in F
Trumpet in Bb
About the work:
‘Undercurrent’ is a study of pulsating rhythms in different meters, and the complex interactions between them.
The inspiration for ‘Undercurrent’ came from a dream image of mysterious dark objects dropping from the sky into a peaceful, still ocean, and the reverberations from each impact slowly moving outward and diminishing to nothing. Some of the reverberations overlap and interact with fragments of others, and mysteriously gain momentum and begin to organise themselves into pulsating systems of rhythm and energy, only to be demolished by a collision with the next falling object.
by Claire Jordan
for solo piano
total duration 11’00”
The piece draws on a range of musical traditions, with the aim of fusing them into a new style.
The title refers to the passionate, sometimes wild nature of the piece, but also to the jazz notion of the word ‘feel’. Each movement has a different rhythmic character, which should be played with energy, a sense of forward motion, and a dance-like quality.
The brief tumbling figure in bar 1 must be very light and graceful, even if a slight rubato is necessary. The main part of the movement (up to the Poco Andante) must be played very rhythmically, in strict tempo, with a warm, powerful, muscular feeling. The opening section (to bar 75) should be pedalled as much as possible (continuously, if the piano allows) except where specifically indicated. Although the rhythm must be strong and firm, there should be a soft blurring effect, creating a featureless background upon which a series of interesting objects begin to appear.
The effect throughout the movement should be peaceful and meditative, with a feeling of gentle, continuously flowing motion.
This movement must be played with a great deal of energy and excitement, with strong accentuation and a very secure driving pulse.
The ‘cadenza’ section in bars 50-68 should sound spontaneous and have something of the character of an improvised solo, and it should never be played the same way twice.