Magnets, Lava, Crystals was commissioned by Roger Heaton, and premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall in London. I met and first worked with Roger in 2010 at the Pharos Contemporary Music Festival in Cyprus, discovering that we shared a number of musical interests: for example, idiomatic sonorities as related to the nature of different instruments and sound production, or composers such as Scelsi and Radulescu. The title of the piece links to both the compositional process and the music itself. Italo Calvino, in Exactitude, one of the essays in his Six Memos for the Next Millennium, points to the contrasting images of crystal (‘self-organizing system’) and flame (‘order out of noise’) as two alternative models in biology, language and literature. Both aspects are explored in this piece, and can be thought of as different ways of looking at the musical material.