Jeroen Speak

for violin and piano

duration: 8 minutes

Written in 2000, Arabesques is a study of time and of form. The main musical material is a set of small variations on an ‘theme’, the theme is however not actually present in the final work. The variations once finished were disseminated in such a way that those at the start tended to happen towards the end and visa versa. The ‘real –directional’ flow of the music is thus undermined; the music heads away from a place that one can only imagine, and towards a form of ‘beginning’.

My pitch material is strictly fractal; it mimics in many ways the much larger work ‘Comme Le Son Evolue’ (2000-2001) for two harps and two string orchestras (and indeed was written as a study for it). It sets out to discover itself through a continuous and manic / fetishistic reworking of material, from which windows occasionally open up. These I call ‘bifurcation points’ which is a term used to describe the point that dissipative structures reach when they gain a certain level of organization; these points occur in all art.

Jeroen Speak graduated in 1993 with M.Mus. with first class honours from Victoria University Wellington (New Zealand). In 1994 was the Composer in Residence at the Nelson School of Music before moving to Britain where he currently resides. He has received tuition from Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Harvey and Michael Finnissy.

Distinctions to date include the Irino prize in 1992, first place in the Asian Composers League competition for young composers in 1998, the Philip Neil Memorial prize from Otago University in 1999, and the Victoria University composers prize in 1989 and 1991.

Jeroen is currently reading for the degree of D Phil in music at the University of Sussex under Michael Finnissy.

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