Octette (1987) 13 minutes.
First performance: Reykjavík Jan 3, 1988, Caput Ensemble, Gudmundur Óli Gunnarsson.
Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet in Bb, alto sax, french horn, perc, piano, viola and cello.
Octette was composed in the summer of 1987 for Caput Ensemble. The ensemble is treated in two different ways. Firstly, there are four duos: flute and clarinet, french horn and alto saxophone, viola and cello, and piano and percussion, each duo being very homogenous, thus each creating only one stratum or “voice”. Secondly, the ensemble is dealt with as one instrument exploiting a variety of timbral possibilities. Each of the 6 sections of the work emphasizes either of these treatments. Seeking to maintain objectivity in the compositional process, the initial ideas of density changes and direction of development were carried out using the Fibonaccci numbers and the golden section as a vehicle. Pitches, harmonic rhythm, register changes, qualitative and quantitative durations, instrumentation and dynamic are all derived from these numbers. Replacing polyphony are layers of development in differnent parameters, each with its own time scale and destination.
Listen to excerpt: