Inflection: Two (2023)
for alto saxophone, percussion, and ensemble (open instrumentation, variable number)
for Bent Frequency Duo Project
Jan Berry Baker, alto saxophone
Stuart Gerber, percussion
performed March 18, 2023
with the Creative Music Ensemble at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs
"Inflection: Two" is an expanded version of "Inflection: One," which Bent Frequency Duo Project premiered in 2022. Both scores explore semi-structured improvisation, and this new piece augments the original duo material with a surrounding ensemble. I’m seeking to balance specific musical materials with openness that allows space and time for the performers to engage with and react to each other. Intimately connected, the duo performers take turns leading and following, shaping and being shaped by the other. They are often asked to imitate nuances that cannot easily be imitated—like pitch and timbral fluctuations of uneven, airy flutters or multiphonic beating. The musical material is constantly bent and morphed as it is passed between them, and the players inflect each other's sounds.
The new ensemble in "Inflection: Two," scored for any number of musicians playing any instruments, participates in another layer of musical inflection. Drawing pitches, timbres, dynamics, and rhythms from the duo, the ensemble often shadows the duo’s sounds. At other times, the group expands on the duo’s materials and, in a few rare moments, even leads with its expansive energy.