Mikel Kuehn - Works

Between the Lynes (1995), for flute, cello, and piano (University of Iowa, Center for New Music):

Between the Lynes (1995), for flute, cello, and piano. Performed by the University of Iowa Center for Contemporary Music.

Program Note

Between the Lynes (1994), scored for flute, cello, and piano, was inspired by a section from my work Fünf Parabeln, for soprano and chamber ensemble (1993), which contains dense instrumental textures. In Between the Lynes, I was interested in creating a work that employed a series of textural densities, in which the densest moments would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fully perceive on a single hearing. This forces the listener to cling to specific textural elements, creating a particular auditory pathway upon each listening. These multiple pathways, which emanate from rich labyrinthial textures, are molded by other facets of the music. One of these is the flow of instrumentation: a series of six sections – partitioned into solos, duos, and trios embedded in one another as the piece unfolds – which constitutes all possible combinations and instrumental doublings of the ensemble (the plucking of the piano strings initiates each type of section: two plucks for trios, one for duos). Another is the articulation of timbral elements unfolding on a slower structural level (e.g., special modes of playing such as the flute’s flutter tongue, the cello’s tremolo, or “muted” piano strings). The spelling of the word “lynes” is a pun on an abstract theoretical term meaning “an uninterpreted succession of pitch-classes.”

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