Instrumentation: 13 strings (8, 2, 2, 1)
Commissioned by Arcko Symphonic Ensemble
The original fascination that inspired Into the Outer was an exploration of notions of push and pull. Associating specific musical material with members and sections of the ensemble, I sought to create a landscape in which to explore the interplay between give and take, will and force, expansion versus contraction, and above all, propagation versus consumption.
A player possesses his/her material, and therefore is endowed with some sense of agency in the piece. Their material can propagate into the surrounding ensemble. This can be viewed both positively, as an exertion of influence, and negatively, as consumption and a loss of identity.
These ideas are manifest in the division of the ensemble into an inner string quartet and an outer nonet. Additionally, for every member of the string quartet, there is a quadrant, including the spatially corresponding members of the outer ensemble.
The string quartet is the heart of the system, a seed whose material propagates throughout the orchestra. It is tender and fragile, yet self- contained, content, and self-governing. As the piece progresses, this core gets extracted, borrowed, one-by-one, by their corresponding outer subsets. Its ideas and behaviour gradually submits, infiltrates into the mass, giving the noise-based larger force the ‘nutrition’ to grow and develop through this process of infusion.