No 62 Crash Codes (2017)
Commissioned by: Crash Ensemble, with financial support from the Irish Arts Council
First Performance: 27 May 2017, Crash-lands, West Pier, Long Island, Ireland
Instrumentation: flute/piccolo, clarinet, trombone, electric guitar, percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass
Listen/Buy: Crash Ensemble website
Crash Codes was written for the 20th anniversary of the Crash Ensemble. The phrase 'Happy 20th Birthday Crash' was fed into Binary, Morse and Seville code, which resulted in two rhythmical translations of the phrase and one melodic/harmonic translation. The congratulatory phrase is then built up step by step, from individual letters at the beginning to the full sentence by the end. In the first part Binary and Morse (represented by percussion and electric guitar respectively) are first alternated and then combined. In the second part Seville (piano) is introduced and first alternated with Binary and then with Binary and Morse. In the final phase the Seville code is harmonized for the entire ensemble and combined with the other two codes while the incompatible durations of the two rhythmic codes are gradually forced into a form of synchronicity. At the end all letters line up and the complete sentence, however incomprehensible, is finally uttered simultaneously.