Critical Mass

Howard, Robert

About the work

Critical Mass is an art work by Antony Gormley (1995) on display in the Tate Gallery, St. Ives during 2001. It consists of multiple iron casts of the artist’s body in various positions, distributed around a space. My piece is a musical reflection of this. Motifs remain essentially the same throughout. However, within the context of a free canon, the texture is both unpredictable and continually changing.

Technical notes

The work is a free canon in 6 sections (A to F). The beginning of sections A to E are indicated with a down-beat from the conductor, at which point instruments enter freely, unsychronised, in canon. Section F should be fully beaten out (in 4/4) by the conductor and parts are synchronised.


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score & parts


Sample score



2m 00s




Flexible Ensemble


Probably minimum of 5 - 6 players to cover required ranges/canons
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