Etude II from A Book of Etudes (2007)

for 'cello, clarinet
By Douglas Boyce

Etude II is an extract from a larger work. A Book of Etudes manifest several distinct but interrelated compositional projects. The work (or set of works) contains three etudes so far; when complete the first choir of the Book will encompass five etudes; the entire book (as currently envisioned) will consist of 3 choirs of 5 etudes each. Some of these etudes will be duos, some trios, some solo—all the possible combinations cello, clarinet and piano.

This etude brings the performers into the realm of the composerly, asking them to make many decisions about the order of events and structure of the piece—the work is in some sense improvised, but it is a structural improvisation, in which every note is preordained, but the relationships between groups of notes are not.

A fuller discussion of A Book of Etudes can be found here. [click]

Other works by Douglas Boyce:
“The introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state, for styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions. ... The new style, gradually gaining a lodgment, quietly insinuates itself into manners and customs, and from it ... goes on to attack laws and constitutions, displaying the utmost impudence, until it ends by overturning everything.”
--Plato, "The Republic"