Dead Slow / Look Left (2011)

for string quartet and percussion

Dead Slow, which consists of a continuous overlapping harmonic progression, was generated using a harmonic analysis of 87 compositions by Pat Metheny, and a third-order Markov model based upon this analysis. Durations, dynamics, playing style, range, and harmonic spread were determined using patterns generated by a genetic algorithm. These continuous harmonies are interrupted by Look Left – contrapuntal sections that interpret tendency masks that define such parameters as sequence length, number of instruments, subdivisions, playing style, number of playing styles, dynamics, and the number of gestures in a section. In these sections, each instrument operates independently within its own melodic, rhythmic, and tempo plane. The title comes from traffic signs observed while in England, where this piece was conceived.

Performed by the Yaletown String Quartet: Mark Ferris (violin), Cameron Wilson (violin), Henry Lee (viola), Finn Manniche (cello), with Daniel Tones (percussion)

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver, December 2011