Sunday, December 27, 2020

"Modernismo". For Flute & Piano


For Flute & Piano


Bil Smith Composer

A Commission From DHL

Published by LNM Editions, 2017

(Laboratorie New Music)

A creative artistic movement that took shape in the 1880s in Spanish America, Modernismo has traditionally been identified with efforts to reinvigorate innovative literature and music through the pursuit of formal perfection and innovation. It was, however, more than an aesthetic undertaking. Modernismo offered a complex response to the profound social and cultural shifts that accompanied the arrival of modernity in Spanish America. 

Its influence extended to both sides of the Atlantic, largely because of the artistic genius of the peripatetic Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867– 1916), who selected its name and, by example and decree, came to define the movement. He established connections with the most celebrated European and American composers and writers of the day and, by 1896, as the sole survivor of the movement’s founding members, became its creative center of gravity. 

While the influence of Modernismo lasted well into the 20th Century, its closing date is generally held to coincide with Darío’s death in 1916.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

"An Encounter And An Emergence". For String Quartet. The Full Score (PDF)

"An Encounter And An Emergence"

For String Quartet

Bil Smith Composer

A Commission from Tristel PLC

The Score

Score Excerpt
Score Excerpt

Score Excerpt

Score Excerpt

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Experiments in Notational Systems

Many composers compose pieces like they’re writing movies in a superhero franchise: all really similar, entertaining enough, but we’re bored.

In a figurative sense, the relationship between a musical composition and a musical instrument could be likened to that of a canvas and any marks it bears. This relationship is both multifaceted and causal: for example, the textured surface of a canvas can affect the nature of the material it sets forth (cf. the pencil-on-canvas work of Agnes Martin).
The musical instrument offers the same function to a composition; the relationship between the body of the performer and their instrument defines an ecology with which the musical work necessarily interacts.
This interaction could be one of compliance – the idiomatic writing of a Paganini caprice – or subversion - the impossible glissandi employed within Xenakis’s Mikka (1971). Between these two extremes is a music that sets out to exploit the aberrant characteristics of an instrument. In the case of the baroque violin, extreme bow pressure or severe detuning (amongst other techniques) will produce unpredictable sonic responses to otherwise identical physical impetuses.

New Work for Piano (Prismatiq Tablature)


A Mistrial for Flute, Cello and Double Bass