The score for this 42-minute long 2004 sextet composition ‘Small Worlds’ creates a set of simple conditions for the performers which concern their relationship to other members of ensemble. Musicians, divided into two trios, are periodically shifting both their dynamic and their listening focus, articulating a kind of glacial and subtle pulse or breath through the piece as players attend to one-another in different ways.

Quiver Ensemble
Aviva Endean – clarinets
Rebecca Lane – flutes
Jonathan Heilbron -double bass
Matthias Schack-Arnott – percussion

with guests:
Chris Heenan – contrabass clarinet
Alexander Garsden guitar

subdued, yet rich and intense

Notably, pauses in this work are always shared: two or more players may become linked for a moment in the act of together becoming listeners. Dafeldecker’s work creates an architecture of relationships, the sonority of which is otherwise left open, filled in by the ensemble themselves.

Quiver do this in a manner that is subdued, yet rich and intense. The palette of sounds often draws from the familiar—subtle arpeggiations and melodic figures from Garsden & Heilbron’s guitar & bass harmonics, or Schack-Arnott’s vibraphone & bells. But the strangeness of their sound-world comes to the forefront with Heenan’s snarling contrabass clarinet, or the whistling multiphonics of Endean and Lane. Occasionally timbres overlap and intersect, and their source becomes unclear and mystifying. Among the most striking moments are at the extremes of range: particularly Lane’s still, low flute tones, gently resting under the ensemble & barely noticeable, or the digital-sounding, crackling high tones from the percussion. But the group’s sensitivity ensures that, despite such a diverse range of sounds, the interesting forms & symmetries in Dafeldecker’s score can be clearly heard by the attentive listener. 

released June 27, 2017

Composed, mixed & mastered by Werner Dafeldecker (2004).

Recorded in Berlin in 2014 at Studio Boerne 45.