“I want to write a book like a cloud that changes as it goes he said”

English composer Ben Isaacs has just added a recording of his new string quartet I want to write a book like a cloud that changes as it goes he said to his website. The piece was premiered in July by Quatuor Diotima at Acanthes. A score is available from this page.

I think Ben’s music is remarkable. Whenever I look at his scores, I need to suppress the urge to start cackling hysterically at the sheer extremity of his material limitations. Subsequently, on hearing his work, though, this limitation catapults the listener into a vast macrocosm of sounds both heard and imagined. You only hears the tip of the iceberg in this music. It’s like wandering, lost and blindfolded, through a forest, the myriad textures experienced through your fingertips presenting a rarefied world that only alludes to vastly more numerous, vastly bigger trees.

I also heartily recommend allone, for Bb clarinet, cello and piano (score and recording available on his website). The work is structured as a kind of triptych, the second panel of which is just… amazing.

An interview with Ben Isaacs by Ray Evanoff appeared in the inaugural issue of the CeReNeM Journal, and can be accessed here.