Composition - - American Recorder Society
Rarifying Accretions
By Anthony St. Pierre January 2009
Rarifying Accretions is a set of instructions for improvisation rather than a composition in the conventional sense. It is composed of 12 "cells." The first contains but a single note. Each successive cell contains one more note than the previous -- hence "accretions." The intervals between notes of each cell become progressively wider -- hence "rarifying." Full performance instructions appear on the score. The work might serve as a brief prelude on a contemporary music recital. It is especially fun to play in a lively outdoor acoustic such as can be found in a cave or canyon.

The accompanying recording by the composer offers two renderings: one on alto recorder, and another with sopranino and tenor randomly superposed. The piece is not specifically for recorders; other instruments may play instead of, or in conjunction with recorders. Contrasting ranges are desirable when two (but advisably not more) instruments play. The possibilities are infinite, so let your imagination run wild!
-- Anthony St. Pierre
Difficulty Rating: Players can improvise according to ability.
This solo piece is the modern equivalent of an unmeasured prelude from the French Baroque period- only the pitches are given, and absolutely everything else is left up to the imagination of the performer, including what instrument to play. Even the pitches are flexible, as the composer suggests one could transpose any of the cells. Such unbridled creative freedom may be just what the intrepid recorder soloist has been looking for!
-- Glen Shannon
No. of Recorder Parts:
New Music for Recorder
Date Added:
Concert, Fast/Up-tempo, Laid-back/Slow, Non-tonal/Modern, Improvisatory Schemes