Five Images


for Ensemble Dal Niente (clr/b clr, perc, hp, vln/vla) (2020) (9’) (part I of Spiral Triptych)

Program Note:

five images (2020) is a set of compact canonic miniatures. Double, crab, prolation, and inversion canons are employed across the work to create a largescale arch form that engages the quartet in a variety of different ways. While the canons are rigorous in their execution, they are not all intended to be heard as such, with variance in the timbre, register, and temporality of the material affecting the perceptibility and autonomy of the canonic voices. The odd-numbered movements (i, iii, v) use the full ensemble, with iii acting as the axis and breaking point in the large-scale structure. Movements ii and iv, both crab canons, employ duos different than those used in the double canons of the outer movements, and occupy a noisier and more distant landscape. Each pair of movement across this axis (v with i, and iv with ii) are created as derivations from their counterparts, as if an image is reflected through a broken mirror to create a simulacrum of its pair. However, it is impossible to determine which way the axis imposes its changes, and thus which image is the original and which is the reflection.

This work was created as a canonic sketchbook for my large ensemble work, Triskelion, for DePaul University’s Ensemble 20+, and directly confronts the issues presented by working both with miniature forms and composing with canons in the hopes of using an old technique to make something new.

five images was composed for Ensemble Dal Niente and premiered to an empty hall on July 11, 2020.



listen here

Performance History:

  • February 2023, Eastman School of Music
  • OSSIA Ensemble

  • World Premiere, 7.11.2020, Gannon Concert Hall, DePaul University School of Music
  • Ensemble Dal Niente:
    Katie Schoepflin Jimoh - clarinets
    Ben Melsky - harp
    Kyle Flens - percussion
    Theo Ramsey - violin, viola
    Hannah A. Barnes, conductor