Not A Sonata
for unspecified jazz ensemble
Commissioned by Club Inégales and Sound and Music
First performed in January 2015 by cellist Matthew Barley and Notes Inégales.
Chris’s second ‘one-page score’ for Club Inégales focuses on non-linear musical structures. The ‘one-page score’, a format frequently commissioned by Club Inégales, is traditionally a collection of musical snippets that fuel the improvisations of the club’s house band. The unique challenge of creating something free and yet composed has drawn musical responses from a range of composers, including James MacMillan and John Woolrich. Not A Sonata takes the concept one step further. Ranging from driven and funky to soft and gentle, the piece features seven through-composed sections that can be played in any order – since all were carefully crafted to perfectly align with each other. In addition, the piece specifies five motifs that can be interjected by any player at any time and still make musical sense (unless specified), encouraging players to depart from the written score on a whim. The combination of movable sections and flexible motifs allows ensembles to craft their own unique interpretation of this piece, with many sections affording the more adventurous players with an opportunity for extended soloing or improvisation, while the through-composed nature of the piece ensures structure and a musical narrative. As a result, Not A Sonata is a jazzy and fiery playground for creative performers that will delight and surprise an audience in equal measure.
“Great—spunky and funky, shades of Andriessen’s Workers Union.” – Peter Wiegold