Obstinate Snakes.jpg

Obstinate Snakes!

for saxophone quartet
duration: 11'
first performance: 22 May 2010; St. Peter's Church, New York, NY; Anubis Saxophone Quartet
availability: for sale
recording: non-commercial
detailed instrumentation: ssx, asx, tsx, bsx

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The name Obstinate Snakes! refers to the somewhat sinewy "theme" that more-or-less stubbornly asserts itself throughout the first large section the piece. While often presented alone, it is developed primarily through its combination with other "snakes" in chains of episodes, in an effort to create a kind of liquid, contrapuntal musical affect.

The material in the second half of the piece is highly contrasting, and is consequently more akin to a second movement played "attacca." Cast in a somewhat loose, compound, recombinant-rondo form, the material (perhaps somewhat subconsciously recalling the "snakes") features highly chromatic, super-elongated lines, interspersed with other sections featuring noisy multiphonics, resonances of wailing sirens, macabre carnival music, and super sci-fi space echoes (among other things).