Mixed Sextet – Dreamzone


Instrumentation: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Piano, Double Bass, Trombone
Duration:                 6 minutes
Year:                           2016

Complete Performance:

Program Notes:

Dreamzone (2016) is a short one movement work for sextet that explores the fragmentation and transformation of a melodic gesture.  When thinking of ideas for this new work for Ensemble mise-en, I had for no particular reason the 3rd movement of Poulenc’s Flute Sonata (1957) trapped in my head in a perpetual loop.  For a long time now, that piece has been one of my favorites in the flute literature having heard it in one of the first concerts I attended in the UK.  Titled ‘Presto Giocoso’, it is a gay (as in happy) and rhythmic rondo in 2/4.  I was attracted to the movement by its liveliness, and sought to incorporate into my new piece.

The piece begins with a direct quote from the Flute Sonata (1957), taking the first two bars and scoring it for the full ensemble.  From then onwards, I subject the material to fragmentation and transformation, introducing various dissonances and distortions as the piece goes on.  When the piece ends, there is no longer anything left that reminds us of the original quotation.  The title Dreamzone alludes to the sense of flux and blurring that happens throughout the piece, with unexpected outbursts and interruptions that border on the chaotic.

Performance History:

– Apr 7, 2016: Ensemble mise-en @ Red Note New Music Festival, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA
– Nov 23, 2017: Tristan Durie, Katherine Peter, Marc Blouin, Connor Crone, Aaron Good, Marketa Ornova; University of Toronto Walter Hall