"Vines Don't Reach" is a short 12-tone duet about the retroactivity of historical narratives. This is the world premiere at Doug Howard's retirement concert at Southern Methodist University. Thanks very much to Steve Merrill & Nathaniel Collins for learning this on relatively short notice and performing it better than I had reasonably hoped for!
About the composition:
I wrote this over a couple months for the occasion, as I'd been wanting to write some more 12-tone for a while, and a relatively short piece, so I ended up doing both. I really wanted to write some 12-tone that was melody-driven, and well, on the plain & accessible side.
Under the hood, Vines Don’t Reach essentially works by moving around a 12-tone matrix one cell at a time, kind of like the old game Snake. The first 12 notes are just the row. I’ve added the first page of the sheet music on this page so you can follow along and/or reconstruct the matrix if you want to follow the movement of the piece’s notes in detail. As I was finishing up composition I laxed up on strict movement around the matrix, but the vast majority is restricted to cell-by-cell up-down-left-right.
The most direct influence would be the band Behold the Arctopus/composer Colin Marston, and the album "The Animation of Entomology" by Blotted Science, though I didn’t directly model this piece on anything in particular. Highly recommend both of those, though.
Also, if you’d like to see a more up close performance, here’s a video from the dress rehearsal.