David Fennessy: Confetti Medley

  • Slowing down study (2005)
  • for 4 bass clarinets and 2 hand-cranked music box mechanisms
  • Duration: 9’
  • Composer: David Fennessy

Work introduction

By the time I had finished work on Confetti Medley the area around my desk had come to resemble the grounds of a churchyard on a wedding day, covered as it was by a carpet of tiny punched holes of paper. The two music box mechanisms in the piece play separate melodies which are produced by manually rotating strips of perforated paper, not unlike the principal of the player piano.

I was intrigued by the idea of slowing down – when does a melody stop being a melody and become just individual, isolated sounds? There is something very poignant about those last, dying moments when a wind-up music box can barely push out the notes.

The clarinets act as resonators throughout the piece; freezing that moment of fragility where the music teeters between the horizontal and the vertical and stretching it out.

Confetti Medley was commissioned by the Scottish Clarinet Quartet with funds from the Scottish Arts Council, Hope Scott Trust and RVW Trust and first performed by them at the St. Andrew's and St George's, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 28th August 2005.

David Fennessy


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