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Metamorphic Canon
for solo harp (2 performers)

Work no. 141


    In Pulp Fiction, Jules shrugs off a question about how Marsellus Wallace met his wife. He says, "I don't know. However people meet people." I misheard that on my first watching and thought he asked "How do people meet people?" rhethorically. It's been on my mind a lot over the years, because for me personally meeting people isn't easy. I never had too many close relationships or friendships. This canon could be an idea of a perfect close relationship between friends or lovers. At first, the second melodic line only enters after a little while and imitates the original. Towards the middle section, this time gap is decreased, the lines are closer together, and they're almost perfectly in sync by the end of the piece. The final notes are the same as the first ones: the instructions say it should be like "like two hands drawing a perfect circle together."

    The musical relationship is mirrored in performance practice, because the piece is unplayable by a single harpist. A second performer must be present to help with the bass notes, and some of the faster passages. The two performers must work very closely together, both metaphorically and literally, when playing. I think this is one of my most successful canons, and I was particularly surprised that it required almost no preparation or calculation to make the imitative counterpoint work. The piece practically wrote itself, and it was as if I was just there to help with a thing or two.

    Metamorphic Canon – PDF score

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