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Iain Matheson Kaleidoscope (2006) 13′
2222 2200 Str
All Contributors: Iain Matheson (composer)
First performed on: 9 Dec 2006
First performed by: New Edinburgh Orchestra / Tim Paxton
First performed at: Edinburgh
Notes: Written for Tim Paxton and the New Edinburgh Orchestra.
When I was wee I had a kaleidoscope.
Its shifty shapes amazed me,
evoking strange and fabulous things.
I didn’t know how it worked – magic, surely.
At school years later in a science class
we took a kaleidoscope apart.
Slim mirrors, crumbs of glass – nothing more.
Fascinating and appalling;
how could this reductionist jumble
add up to such magic?
Las year I bought another kaleidoscope.
All the old thrill came back as I peered into its one eye;
no less magical now that I know how the trick is done.
In the same way that my kaleidoscope makes pattersn,
this music creates patterns from fragments:
in fact just one fragment –
a single chord-shape heard from the different perspectives
of Brass, Woodwind, Strings.
One small piece of sound
manipulated in musical mirrors,
Repetition, Canon, Inversion;
celebrating the tricks time plays.