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Stuart MacRae

Publisher: Novello & Co

Joindre (2001)
commissioned by The Haffner Wind Ensemble
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Wind Quintet
Year Composed
8 Minutes

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Programme Note
Stuart MacRae Joindre (2001)
Joindre has something to do with walking on one side of a narrow street and looking up - literally, that is, not metaphorically…You probably don't know what I mean. Well, if I try to explain you'll have to forgive me if it sounds oversimplified; words aren't very good at this kind of thing.

Imagine you're walking on such a street (maybe it has to be in a town or city, built up…) and looking up, as advised - the scenery probably changes at least as often as the music in the piece, but there can never be any doubt that you're still walking along a street, as opposed to say, a forest or a building site. And because you're on the side of the street, the scenery seems to change faster on your side than on the other (even though it doesn't really!) And because you're looking up, you can't always see where you're going, but you can see enough…OK, that's far enough with the images… this isn't what "inspired" the piece, it's just what it's like.

The piece is really a compendium of techniques and forms and non-techniques; a technical game if you like, where intuition and calculation can meet and separate again freely without ever having to agree to differ. [One other thing - it's very difficult to play…]

Maybe that bit about the street is a metaphor after all…

© Stuart Macrae

Score sample

"...the pointillism of short, staccato notes like pinpricks; flurries of virtuosity that writhe and tangle into counterpoint; misty, fragrant chords intoned in slow succession . Although he describes it as a 'compendium of techniques', it comes over as pure intuition - the work of somebody who composes by ear (a good method, incidentally)"
Raymond Monelle, The Independent,21/08/2001
"Instead of trying to make the instruments gel with one another, Joindre insists upon the distinctive timbres of each player. The instruments try to create melodies by passing single pitches to one another, but the music collapses into disagreement. The piece ends with a reflective, lyrical chorale, as if the divisive argument has reached a temporary truce. Like many of MacRae's recent pieces, Joindre makes striking use of silence. The opening of the piece presents individual fragments punctuated by long rests. Each sound assumes a weighty presence."
Tom Service, The Guardian,21/08/2001
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