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Derek Ball Another Almost Inaudible Piece of Minimalism (2002 rev 2008) 3'
The previous piece I wrote for the Dublin Guitar Quartet (at that time consisting of Brian Bolger, Patrick Brunnock, maniacal minimalist David Flynn, and Redmond O'Toole) was extremely loud. You couldn't get much louder without starting to break strings at an unacceptably high rate. Where to go from there? A "moderately loud" piece would be a bit of an anticlimax.
The solution was to write an extremely soft piece, just like Stravinsky writing Apollon Musagète after The Rite of Spring. Well, not just like that, but something quite similar. In any case, the concept is reminiscent to some limited extent. OK then, there's hadly any comparison.
Although quiet and minimalist, the piece moves from fast to faster speeds, and then even faster again in an inexorable way which I hope will be tricky enough to provide the Quartet with an instant cure for their otherwise hopeless addiction to miminalism. Towards the end the music is going like the clappers! - so fast that if those four manage to stay together it'll be a miracle. (Miraculous ensemble playing is what they specialise in, by the way!)