Reductionism is a Dirty Word (2015)
for bass flute, piano, and contrabass

from Caroline Louise Miller on Vimeo.


Reductionism is a Dirty Word was commissioned by SoundSCAPE, and premiered in Italy in July 2015 by Naomi Johnson (flute), Tristan McKay (piano) and Matt Kline (bass).

This piece marks my ongoing interest in musically modeling social, behavioral, and biological dynamics. In this work, each instrument presents a short soloistic exposition that eventually develops into a texture of behavior. Each performer also exposes unique physical aspects of performing their instrument; the flutist draws attention to the importance of breath, the pianist must maneuver gracefully in a large, heterogenous environment, and the bassist's physical coordination is tested through an intense regime of measured breathing and large, leaping gestures. As the soloists play their behavioral textures over one another at increasingly overlapping intervals, a hybrid organism emerges from the stochastic interaction of the three parts. The title was taken pseudo-randomly from The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, a text which explores the links between our genes and the impacts we make on the environments surrounding our bodies.