Beardsley, Christopher




Flexible Ensemble


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About the work

The initial inspiration for Abstract was Nicholson’s Painting 1932. However, whilst looking at the painting the idea came to me that it would be interesting to translate the way a painting is viewed to the music. In the same way that the eyes move over the surface of a painting, resting here and there to study some detail, it is intended that the performer’s eyes should do the same with the written music. Thus, in each section phrases can be played in any order and the ‘choice’ of which phrase to play is simply a matter of which one the performer’s eyes fall upon.

Technical notes

The score contains transpositions for C, Bb, Eb, F and bass clef instruments. Ideally Abstract should be performed by 4 players (or groups) on any melodic instrument. The minimum number of players (or groups) is 2, whilst the maximum is determined only by practicality.


Calls for Pieces Entry: Tate Liverpool 2002