Traffic (1994)

for two pianos and two percussion

Usually associated with the motion of vehicles and pedestrians, the word “traffic” can be used to describe almost any type of physical motion; from the circulation of the blood to the transit of planets.

In this work I explore the relationship between various simultaneously-occurring streams of motion.  These streams share common destinations, but often arrive by differing routes.

All musical material in this work was generated from six chords extracted from John Cage’s piano piece Cheap Imitation (1969).  Cage’s writings, and his death in 1992, had a profound influence on me during the creation of this piece.

Traffic is in one movement and outlines a slow-fast-slow formal arch structure.  The piece was commissioned by the Hammerhead Consort, with funding through the Canada Council for the Arts, and is approximately fourteen minutes in duration.

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