Paradoxical Exchanges (2010)

Instrumentation: Harp trio
Length: 5’00”
Date composed: March 2010


A paradox is a statement or concept that contains conflicting ideas. Paradoxical Exchanges, therefore, is the exchange of such concepts.

The first theme is inspired by the stratification of the Javanese gamelan – the use of multiple lines within a texture, spanning several octaves, with more intricate lines being intrinsically linked to the fundamental melodic line, or balungan.  The second theme, in contrast, has a continuous, flowing accompaniment and a singing melodic line, inspired by the melodic contours of Javanese singer’s melodies. After the initial presentation of the two themes, they slowly become tangled as they continue their exchanges, until they merge as one entity at the climax of the piece.

This piece was recorded in June 2010 by Claire Iselin, Federica Mossone and Soraya Vermeulen.

Leave a Comment