rive literally means a ripping or tearing apart. When the Verdehr Trio visited Tasmania in 2001 they were taken with the severity of such primal ripping and tearing as expressed in the feeding habits of the Tasmanian Devil. We had toyed with the idea of a piece about this and what it distilled to in my mind was a structural approach to musical material which was based on such muscular dismemberment of materials. In my approach to this work the whole of it is formed from a dramatic disaggregation of the materials unfolded in the opening 10 or so measures. All of this material is recycled, recombined, reharmonised, and variously reconfigured such that it morphs from one idea to the next while always relating back to the central initial ideas. This holds true also of the broader formal harmonic structure, which reflects the same harmonic underpinnings of the initial closural arc of the first large phrase group. This work represents somewhat of a departure from previous works of mine in its immediacy of expression and clarity, even its traditionalism in many ways. rive was written over a period of nine days at the Arthur Boyd property Bundanon, now the Bundanon Artists Centre on the Shoalhaven river in New South Wales. It is dedicated with affection to the Verdehr Trio.
The Verdehr Trio