Suite (2003) by Steven Clark
for bass clarinet, cello, and laptop
World premiere; Earplay commission

Suite for Bass Clarinet, Cello, and Laptop takes its inspiration from the Baroque "suite" format, a collection of short pieces that are stylized renditions of folk or popular dances of the day. I endeavored to create a modern corollary by tapping into the colorful palette of contemporary techno dance music. Club DJs frequently coin peculiar names for sub-genres to distinguish subtle shades of style and rhythm:

Because this style of music is generated by computers and electronic devices, it usually takes the form of loops of various lengths, superimposed in varying combinations, sometimes reminicent of Stravinsky's ostinato techniques. The sounds produced by the Bass clarinet and cello are periodically captured by microphones and sent to a laptop computer, which then plays the samples back, transformed in various ways, as an accompaniment to the live musicians. Like a DJ mixing records in a club, the various dances in Suite blend together, making smooth transitions between tempi and themes.

— S. C.    

[from program for May 19, 2003 concert]