performed by JY Yuan – Flute; Ashley Walters – Cello; McKenzie Squires – Percussion; Albert Lau – Percussion

You are standing in a room with a large row of windows, each looking outside. Out the first window, you see an empty patch of soil, so you decide to plant a tree. Then you look out the second window to see a similar patch of soil, but with a seedling sprouting out. Turning to the third window, you see a young tree, already dozens of feet high. In the next window, a much older tree towers over your room, shading you from the sun with its branches. When you look at the final window, you see a dead snag, all the greenery gone. These are windows into time – snapshots of a linear narrative that we can construct in our heads of the tree’s life and what happened to it chronologically. However, these are windows in physical space: we can look through them in any order. We might understand the “correct” linear order through time, but on top of this we can superimpose a new, non-linear narrative: the order in which we view the events tells a story of its own.

This piece attempts to engage with this idea of a non-linear narrative by presenting the ensemble with the building blocks of a muiscal story: 5 loops, that the performers can shift between at any point. The 5 loops played “in order” present 5 windows into a musical process through time, in which amorphous air sounds coalesce into pointillistic clouds, then fragments of accumulating melody and harmony, and finally into driving rhythms. As the ensemble moves freely between the loops, they look through windows onto various parts of this process, but in doing so create their own unique non-linear narrative on top of it.

For additional information, questions, or parts requests, contact Aidan.