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Michael Gordon

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Love Bead (1997)
Red Poppy
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
10 Minutes
Programme Note
Michael Gordon Love Bead (1997)

Composer note:
In Love Bead, the ensemble of 13 musicians is divided into two forces that continuously pull and tear at each other and then, like lovers, meet up furiously. The piece is built on a pattern of 25 beats. During the first 20 beats, a low, rumbling cluster of instruments, comprised of electric guitar, trombone, contra-bassoon and bass clarinet, play harsh, industrial rhythms. Simultaneously, a second cluster of keyboard and strings plays blunt, attacking strokes.

The clashing forces come together during the last five beats, closing off the pattern, which then begins again. Love Bead is constructed like a set of beads strung together. As the piece progresses, each "bead" changes slightly, like the rough and jagged wooden "Love Beads" that I used to wear growing up. Love Bead was written for the Frankfurt-based Ensemble Modern, and is dedicated to John Adams.

––Michael Gordon

  • 07 JUN 2012
    Sinfonietta Riga
    N. Sne, conductor
  • 20 APR 2012
    Fuel Country Premiere
    Love Bead
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Residentie Orkest
    André de Ridder, conductor
  • 20 APR 2012
    Residentie Orkest
    André de Ridder, conductor
  • 20 JUL 1997
    Love Bead World Premiere
    Royal Albert Hall, London, England
    Ensemble Modern
    John Adams, conductor

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