REACTION for cello, piano and percussion

The underlying concept of the work is the process of disintegration that is universal when there is a reaction against an ordered unity.

The piece illustrates the contrast between unity and disunity. In the ‘Unity’ section there is no rivalry in the ensemble and each performer is a willing respondent to one another. The intervals used in this section are mainly perfect 4th and 5th and their various combinations.

The rhythmic motive of unity is centred around a 5-note group. The ominous rumble of deep piano strings heralds the start of the rebellion against the authority of the composer.

The improvisation section follows immediately and is a reaction of the musicians against all that has gone before.

Each player becomes absorbed in a ‘selfish’ ostinato to show the rejection of the group and the assertion of his/her ego.

Even a deafening striking of the tom tom does not succeed in immediately silencing the players. We are left with a destructive process of fragmentisation.


Three players are required.
The pianist also plays the celesta.


Consists of: Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Tubular bells, Crotales, 2 pedal Timpani, suspended Cymbal, Tom Tom, Wood block, Temple block, three Drums of different pitches.


1 Depress the key without sounding it

2 or A response line requiring an immediate follow on

3 or Notes in a ‘box’ must be unmeasured and played as quickly as possible

4 On signal from conductor