But Flexible (for George Crumb)



This is the fourth piece in my Elegies series, pieces written to honor composers who have most heavily influenced my work. When Crumb dies, the title of the work will be changed to But Flexible (Elegy for George Crumb).

But Flexible is inspired by Crumb’s instrumentation for Music For A Summer Evening and Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.

The work takes its pitch material from an extended slide whistle passage found in Music For A Summer Evening. It is from Crumb’s note above this passage that the title it taken.

There are 20 short movements, each introducing a new pitch into the collection until all pitches are represented in the final movement, a solo for piano harmonics. I also make heavy use of extended techniques including bowed vibraphone, bowed piano strings, and piano harmonics. There many are sections of crossover between the instruments: both pianists play on the same piano, all four players playing the vibraphone simultaneously, and all four players play slide whistles, and some players play multiple instruments at once.

See: Music for Two HandsString Quartet No. 6String Quartet No. 11Elegy for John Cage, and Sound Clouds.