Three Quintets (2010)
I composed Three Quintets with two ideas in mind. The first idea was the variety of different ways to divide the number 15. We all know that 15 can be divided by three iterations of five items or five iterations of three items. But there are two other interesting ways to divide the number 15:
1.) 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
2.) 8 + 4 + 2 + 1
And the number 45 can be divided as:
9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
I used these five numeric sequences to create the rhythmic structure for Three Quintets.
The other idea that I had in mind in composing this piece is the idea of modular form. I composed four A sections and four B sections for a total of eight sections. Three Quintets can be performed in three possible ways:
1.) A sections and B sections: A1, B1, A2, B2, A3, B3, A4, B4
2.) A sections only: A1, A2, A3, A4
3.) B sections only: B1, B2, B3, B4
No other arrangement could be performed, i.e. the form is finite.
I composed Three Quintets for the ensemble Transit. It premiered at the Tenri Cultural Institute on March 20th, 2010. Three Quintets is dedicated to artist John Andrew.