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LI LO NO (2019)

for piano trio, 10 mins

Li Lo No started originally with the rhythmical tutti material that recurs throughout the piece. That material is minimalist in quality but has sudden shifts and glitches within it. These shifts and glitches remain but the (often) substantial time between them is replaced with contrasting material. The work consists of 8 materials of varying characters and instrumental combinations. These are juxtaposed and layered. Decisions about these juxtapositions and layerings was the main creative space for me while writing the piece. The generation of the materials uses elementary cellular automata (CA). The work is to some degree an etude or experiment in the potential of this algorithmic tool for compositional purposes. I was intrigued by the differing results from different CA rules - some produce seemingly random results, others oscillating or cyclical results, and still others run their course and get stuck in a single state. Regardless, CA results are simply series of 1s and 0s, which then need to be interpreted. Determining the different rules and interpretation strategies for each of the materials was the other substantial creative space within this piece. The work was written for the Trio Khaldei between May-August 2019 in Singapore.

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