a mesh of tangled lines

Marc Yeats - Composer

a mesh of tangled lines

Dedicated to my dear friend Sarah Watts.

This is a timecode-supported polytemporal composition.


  • contrabass clarinet (soloist)
  • 6 bass clarinets

Program Note:

There is no programmatic intention in what unfolds as sound in this piece: any or no relationship to the title and the sounding music is forged at the discretion of the composer, performer and listener. Despite this statement, there is an unfolding of material that manifests through contrasting music sections to provide the listener with a (hopefully) compelling experience even without programmatic intent. It is the interplay between and within these sections that is the narrative content of the composition. 

The material constituting the composition is drawn from, among other sources, self-borrowed and transformed materials from the violin part in always searching for home (2020), a composition that immediately preceded the each changing series of pieces (2021) featuring various compositions for solo clarinet and clarinet and ensemble and where those materials were themselves self-borrowed and transformed from the violin 1 part of the 2016 string quartet, observation 5 and most recently, the 2022 string quartet, gravity lost.

I am always fascinated by how the combination of self-borrowed and transformed musical materials affects how those materials interact in time, constantly changing the combined elements’ vertical, harmonic and rhythmic relationships to sometimes radically alter how we perceive this related material when presented in different contexts. 

The bass clarinet parts range from the greatest technical and rhythmic difficulty in parts 1 and 2, through 3 and 4 to the less demanding parts 5 and 6.

Live performance may be spatialised in any way as directed by the contrabass clarinet soloist. Additionally, all materials may be pre-recorded and synchronised to create a fixed media presentation or a performance that incorporates live and pre-recorded elements where all seven instrumental lines are represented. A shorter contrabass clarinet solo version of the piece is also available from Composers Edition.

Duration: circa 16.30 minutes

© Marc Yeats October 2023