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Fractals

Five musical miniatures inspired by the infinite variety of fractals
Commissioned by The Music Fix

Fractals are intricate pictures which bear an uncanny resemblance to many images found in nature — coastlines, clouds, cells, lightning bolts, clusters of stars. But for all their complexity, fractals are generated using simple and concise recipes, often simple computer programs no more than 4-5 lines long.

Like visual fractals, these five musical miniatures are based on very simple ideas which grow in complexity as the ideas are layered and spun out. With titles drawn from “Fractal pioneer” Benoit Mandelbrot's whimsical fractal varieties, each movement has its own character, from the delicate “Cirri” and spunky “Tremas and Squigs,” to the quirky “Twindragon,” described by American Record Guide as a “toetapping, finger-snapping,...brainier and more complex interpretation of “Cool” from Bernstein’s West Side Story...”

Movements:
1. Cirri
2.  Devil's Staircase
3.  Twindragon
4.  River Tree
5.  Tremas and Squigs

Recorded by Christin Schillinger and Jed Moss on their CD, "Bassoon Transcended"

Item Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Audio Peruse Delivery Method (Print vs. Digital) Price Quantity
SEA-044-00 bassoon, piano - Full Score and Part
10' A https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-alexander-fractals-1_cirri.mp3 Sheet Music $28.00
Reviews and Responses: 

“[My accompanist and I] adore this work.  The rhythmic and textural intricacies combine in a refreshing character for bassoon and piano.  We discover new soundscapes with every playing and are drawn in anew. Thank you for such a fresh addition to the bassoon repertoire!” - Christin Schillinger, Assistant Professor of Bassoon, Miami University (Oxford, OH)

“For me, two pieces embody the spirit of [Christin Shillinger’s] program.  One is “Twindragon”, the third movement of Elizabeth Alexander’s Fractals.  This toetapping, finger-snapping minute-long piece evokes a brainier and more complex interpretation of “Cool” from Bernstein’s West Side Story...”  - David Schwartz, American Record Guide, Jan/Feb 2014

“Okay...it is a bad move to listen to music while writing scores, but I did it anyway. Oh my....the Fractals is just sublime. Oh my goodness.....this is just too good. The vibrato at 1.26......egads! The timbre change on the A at 1.41...what!?!? I hate distractions from my work, but this is so buttery and nice.”  - Geoffrey L Burch, Composer for film, television and video games, Response to Schillinger/Moss recording, Facebook, January 11, 2014

Performers: 

Premiere: Cynthia Cameron Fix, bassoon and Dale Fix, piano (Madison, WI)
Christin Schillinger, bassoon and Jed Moss, piano. International Double Reed Society Conference (Norman, OK)
Christin Schillinger, bassoon and Jed Moss, piano. Celebration of Women in Music (Saint Louis, MO)
Christin Schillinger, bassoon and Jed Moss, piano. International Double Reed Society Conference (Los Angeles, CA)
Christin Schillinger, bassoon and Jed Moss, piano. Advanced Double Reed Institute (Dallas, TX)
Christin Schillinger, bassoon and Jed Moss, piano. Vianden International Chamber Music Festival (Vianden, LUXEMBOURG)
Cynthia Cameron Fix, bassoon and Dale Fix, piano (Charleston, IL)
Kathryn Anderson, bassoon and Catherine Fischer, piano (Minneapolis, MN)
Kimberly Buchar Kelley, bassoon. University of Illinois Doctoral Recital (Urbana, IL)
Lee Goodhew, bassoon and Elizabeth Alexander, piano (Ithaca, NY)
Renee Dee, bassoon and Debora Stewart, piano (Wooster, OH)
Stacy Motquin, bassoon and Elizabeth Alexander, piano (Ithaca, NY)
Torsten Knabe, bassoon and Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano (Austin, TX)

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