eyam iv (Pluto’s Farthest Moons)

for contrabass flute, spatialised ensemble, and electronics

cbfl, spatialised ensemble: [vla, vc], [perc], [gt], [ob], [bcl], [tba, db], and electronics (The EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO Freiburg des SWR)


eyam iv (Pluto’s Farthest Moons) is the fourth piece in a series of five pieces for clarinets and flutes, all of which deal with ideas of isolation and infiltration.

The part of the contrabass flute has its origins in eyam ii (taking apart your universe) for contrabass clarinet and ensemble and in eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you) for bass flute solo. In this fourth piece of the series, the fibrous, luminous character that the flute has been developing in these previous pieces is infiltrated and supported by other influences within the ensemble, and the bass clarinet, playing acoustically at the back of the stage, represents the ghost of the eyam i and eyam ii, both of which feature the clarinet. Placed in four different spots around the audience, the viola/cello, oboe, percussion and guitar are thought of as close to distant moons: contrasting worlds to the flute that infiltrate and influence its behaviours. A speaker is placed in front of each instrument, and each time the instrument plays, it triggers an electronic sound palette that blends into the acoustic sound of the instruments.

In 2013, I spent weeks suggesting names to the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) for Pluto’s newly discovered moons. Alas, none of my suggestions were successful but thinking of names for Pluto’s moons provided all sorts of inspiration for eyam iv, and how the spatialised ensemble interact with the solo contrabass flute.


Watch a video excerpt of the piece, performed by Richard Craig and The ensemble of the EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO Freiburg des SWR, conducted by Detlef Heusinger, electronics directed by Simon Spillner, produced by the ZKM, Karlsruhe:

Clip 1: eyam_iv_a

Clip 2: eyam_iv_b


Look at an excerpt from the score: eyam iv (pluto’s farthest moons)_excerpt