MESH for String Orchestra (2001)
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MIDI recording below
Mesh is the first piece of mine where I significantly used two particular techniques which have become characteristic of a lot of my music since.
The first technique is the use of Polymetric Cycles whereby repeated phrases in two or more different metres are played simultaneously until the metres meet up in a cycle. Most harmonic changes in this piece are dictated by such a cycle occurring.
The other technique in this piece is what I call mono-chord harmony. This basically means that all the harmonic material in the piece is based on one type of chord, in this case it is a Major7th chord and its extensions and inversions.
The piece has a very minimalist pulsing nature with the use of repeated cells going through polymetric cycles. It is only in the middle of the piece that any discernible melody occurs. This is a meandering melody which goes alternately through first violin, second violin and viola and leads to the climax of the piece.
I was awarded the 2002 IMRO Award for Composition at the Feis Ceoil, Dublin for this piece.
It remains unperformed as of 2019.