murmur is concerned with the intricate contrapuntal weaving of the three distinctive voices of the flute, percussion instruments and the synthesizer, through rapidly spun-out triplet phrases juxtaposed against off beat rhythmic patterns, creating an energetic, sometimes frenetic motion. The flute achieves subtle pitch and timbre shifts by use of flutter-tongue techniques and pitch bending. Its delicately agile qualities are enhanced by extended techniques. The percussion instruments, primarily marimba, generate the momentum in murmur through their relentless and irregular rhythmic cells, while the sonic texture of the piece is accentuated by a small selection of FM synthesis sounds on the keyboard, created for murmur.

 

The score is marked “smooth and mysterious” and from the rapid-fire onset until the final gong, the dynamic level never reaches above mf. The sparse, tenuous textures and extremely soft dynamics of murmur suggest a feeling of great sensitivity to the nuances of pitch and timbre. murmur compresses an intense expression into a very small frame.

© 2020 Steve Antosca. All Rights Reserved.