Multimetric Study (1988)

Duration 2’
For solo piano
Composed for Jane Dudley’s composition workshops at London Contemporary Dance School, the Place

One of the giants of contemporary dance, Jane Dudley continued to teach well into later life. Philip was privileged to work with her as class accompanist and workshop collaborator. The Multimetric Study was designed for one such workshop in order to highlight the challenges that continual changes of metre gives the choreographer. These changes of metre occur in almost every bar, and were sufficiently complicated to require a diagrammatic representation of triangles and houses (3s and 2s) written on a large piece of card with a felt-tip pen and placed by the mirror in studio 7 for all to refer to while working.

An interesting side-effect of this was that the driving speed of the music became significantly reduced, in order to allow the student choreographers time to incorporate their complex gestural patterns to fit with the jagged phrase structure.