Inflection Points - FL/BSN/PN
Composer: Dempster, Thomas
Publisher: Potenza Music
for flute, bassoon, and piano
by Thomas Dempster
I. quirky rays and charming segments
II. distant planets and objects
III. jiggly dots and origins
In differential calculus, an inflection point is a point on a curve at which the curvature changes sign. The curve changes between positive curvature and negative curvature. I contstrue the entirety of the piece as a somewhat long arc; the inflection point of the entire pieces happens somewhere during the second movement.
The first movement takes the idea of a stationary point- in this case, hovering around Bb and E- as a tonal center and more literally sees a line, or a curve, or pitches and motives passed around between the ensemble. The first movement ("quirky rays...") juggles a number of ideas and verily proffers some short-lived, rhythmically unstable and tonally ambiguous lines and arcs that return later on.
The second movement ("distant planets...") contains a fair amount of parallel motion, open and sparse figures, and static textures. Motion in pitch space extends outward in both directions from A-flat and eventually returns, retracing the points.
The final movement ("jiggly dots...") is a mildly psychotic gigue that melds together the ideas of the previous two movements.