Numbers (2020)

  • Category: A composition in eight parts for string orchestra (16')
  • Context: Commisioned by Ann Pareyn and SPUMANTI
  • Premiere: 20 March 2022, Oude Abdij Drongen BE
  • Musicians: Chamber orchestra SPUMANTI conducted by Ann Pareyn
  • Project URL: Spumanti Chamber Orchestra
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Numbers is composed quite technically and is entirely based on the numbers 1 to 9.
The string orchestra has something light-footed in my opinion and I have tried to use
the string sound as differently as possible. It was composed for the 11 strings of Spumanti,
but can also be played in a larger line-up.

First, the theme is completely derived from the series 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and each part
in turn is devoted to a number, applied in different ways.
For example, Part 1 "Unisono" is the main theme in unison, the whole ensemble plays as a single voice.

Part 2 "Duality" is made up of cells of 2 notes, which in turn are played twice, sometimes mirrored, but always in duplicate.

Part 3 "Menuet": The number three can be found in the three-quarter time and also the structure that consists of three parts.
So the traditional form of the Minuet, freely interpreted and again based on the main theme.

Part 4 "Quartet" is played by four soloists, the string quartet. The basic data is made up of 4 notes.

Part 5 "Fives and Sixes": The numbers 5 and 6 are used here alternately in rhythmic cells of 5 and 6.
Also the musical sentences are always made up of 5 or 6 bars or multiples thereof.

Part 6 "Seven" is in a 7/8 time signature and is based on a 7-note cell.

Part 7 "Octet in octaves", an eight-part piece, where the strings divide into 8 different voices,
often playing in octaves. The melody consists of a series of 8 notes from the basic theme.

Finally, Part 8 "Ennea" (Greek for nine) is a pizzicato part in 9/8 time, in which the primal theme
can be heard again as an upward sequence of 9 notes in all kinds of variations.