dark gravity 
for clarinet in Bb, oboe, bassoon and percussion [1 player: Deep, resonant bass drum, large, deep Tam-tam, 2 Congas low / high, 2 Bongos low / high
5 differently pitched Temple Blocks, low to high, High-Hat, Gong, Metal Wind Chimes].
The instrumentalists play independently of each other. The ensemble is cued by the bassoon at rehearsal mark 1. There is no ‘fixed’ synchronisation between the instrumentalists. Whilst the relationship of each instrument is flexibly placed against its neighbour, care has been taken to calculate potential outcomes of coincidence and variability. To this end it is vital that metronome markings are adhered to as accurately as possible although the composer appreciates that it is the various interpretations and practicalities inherent in the realisation of tempi that contribute to the richly unique nature and interplay of each performance [see note around timecode on opposite page].
Compositional material is derived from a series of distant variations that unify all sections with thematic landmarks bringing cohesion and structure to the work. All the instrumental roles are written to a high degree of virtuosity and most contain extended techniques and quarter-tones. The music itself forms dense, highly complex and constantly changing relationships that are frequently wild and sometimes beautiful.
The score and parts:
I have not produced a score for dark gravity; difficulties and variables associated with displaying the musical material in vertical alignment as represented in real time are considerable. Each performance will yield somewhat different results, interplays, gestural and harmonic references and outcomes. As a result, the material contained within the piece can only be read via the instrumental parts. Consequently there is no definitive performance of the piece.
dark gravity can only be realised through performance [as opposed to comprehended by reading through a score]; this is the nature of the music – it has to be experienced to be ‘known’.
0.0” time code corresponds to setting of individual stopwatches giving time to prepare instruments to begin after a 5 second count in.
0.5″ is rehearsal mark 1 in all the parts All instruments begin simultaneously, cued by the bassoon.
Time code has been added to each instrumental part for two purposes.
1] To help gauge the overall duration of each part during personal practice thereby enabling the performer to get a good ‘feel’ for the various tempi and overall duration of the material.
2] To serve as a collective reference point in any area of the piece during rehearsals where the ensemble can start rehearsing by each player locating the nearest time code point to the agreed starting point and beginning from there. This is in lieu of rehearsal marks being used for vertical reference and rehearsal purposes in the usual way.
The time code is not used to imply the use of any kind of click-track in performance or as a straightjacket to flexible performance within the ensemble; it is used for the purposes stated above. However, players may use a stopwatch individually during the performance to help guide timings and delivery of their material to achieve an outcome that most closely matches the composer’s intention.
A note about the title:
Dark Energy and Dark Gravity Ruth Durrer, Roy Maartens (Submitted on 1 Nov 2007 (v1), last revised 5 Dec 2007 (this version, v2)) Observations provide increasingly strong evidence that the universe is accelerating. This revolutionary advance in cosmological observations confronts theoretical cosmology with a tremendous challenge, which it has so far failed to meet. Explanations of cosmic acceleration within the framework of general relativity are plagued by difficulties. General relativistic models are nearly all based on a dark energy field with fine-tuned, unnatural properties. There is a great variety of models, but all share one feature in common — an inability to account for the gravitational properties of the vacuum energy. Speculative ideas from string theory may hold some promise, but it is fair to say that no convincing model has yet been proposed. An alternative to dark energy is that gravity itself may behave differently from general relativity on the largest scales, in such a way as to produce acceleration. The alternative approach of modified gravity (or dark gravity) provides a new angle on the problem, but also faces serious difficulties, including in all known cases severe fine-tuning and the problem of explaining why the vacuum energy does not gravitate. The lack of an adequate theoretical framework for the late-time acceleration of the universe represents a deep crisis for theory — but also an exciting challenge for theorists. It seems likely that an entirely new paradigm is required to resolve this crisis.