Hocket (1979)

for large chamber ensemble (2 cl, 2 tpt, 2 mba, 2 pf, 2 va, 2 vc)

African Journal No 2


Duration: c. 8 minutes, 44 seconds

Programme note

In spring 1979 I heard a concert by Louis Andriessen’s Hoketus Ensemble in Amsterdam. The lineup of pairs of instruments and the use of hocket technique in many of the pieces resonated with interlocking in the African music I had been studying. After the concert I rushed back to my hotel and as an exercise started plotting an arrangement of Machaut’s Hoquetus David, a piece I had known and loved for a decade. I used more sombre pairs of instruments than Hoketus: clarinets, trumpets, marimbas, pianos, lower strings - instead of panpipes, saxophones, electric basses and keyboards – and the resultant piece is quite brittle, fragmentary, like Machaut on ‘speed’.


Chamber music