for flute, cello, percussion, and piano, 15 mins
In writing fleepercellimano (2013), I found myself continually managing the power relationships of the various instrumental roles that drive this work. The beginning, for instance, is formed by a very active piccolo line that is expressive and free but continually interrupted by the other 3 musicians clapping in unison, setting sonic borders not to be trespassed. Of course, power dynamics are a messy order of business: they can become too complex to follow and encourage insubordination, or - dare I mention it - even creative problem solving. This is the impetus for much of the work's evolution. Roles become unclear; too many chefs try to influence my chef d'oeuvre. A collapse brings about a new order, but while players assume different roles, the roles themselves remain the same. There is always a framer; there are always the framed.
The name? It's a montage of the instruments involved. Fl from flute, ee from feet, perc from percussion, cell from cello, iano from piano, with an "m" inserted to yield mano, the Italian word for hand.