Memory Stacks I-X, for piano trio was composed as a reaction to the work of minimalist artist Donald Judd, in particular his series of Stacks. Each work within the series is made up of twelve rectangular boxes, nine inches thick and stacked on top of each other (like rungs on a ladder) on a wall with a nine-inch space between them. Each box is of equal importance, as is the space around equally important. These works also tie in with my ever-growing interest in creating metaphorical “musical mobiles”, therefore I have tried to create a piece which reflects these ideas.
There are ten small movements (each one emulating a “Judd box”) and silence between them (emulating the space around the boxes). Each movement was created using a regeneration of material from the first written movement; heard in a slightly different way or character. This, for me, was a way of creating the “musical mobile”, whereby one hears the same sounds from a different perspective, similarly to the way one would see Judd’s Stacks as you perceive it from different angles. The performers can predetermine the order in which the movements are played in; the silences can be of a length between ten and forty-five seconds, again predetermined prior to the performance. In turn, this will make each performance slightly unpredictable each time. As with the Judd stacks, where the number of boxes can be reduced to fit within a galleries floor to ceiling space (to maintain the proper spacing and proportions) the silences can be cut or reduced to be flexible with concert programming.