Disfix [2008]

bass clarinet, piccolo trumpet, & trombone [9”]

commissioned by the ELISION Ensemble

further reading

Forcing the Catastrophe: An Interview with Timothy McCormack Interview by Robert Dahm on Sound is Grammar [July, 2010]

10 for '10: Timothy McCormack - profile and interview by Tim Rutherford-Johnson. Published in The Rambler [February, 2010]


Huddersfield Contemporary Records HCR03

performance history

5/31/2012 - Haynes/Hübner/Menotti. Panakustika. Museum Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden, Germany.

12/1/2011 - Haynes/Hübner/Menotti. Huddersfield University. England

11/10/2011 - Loadbang. Greenwich House. New York City, USA

7/28/2010 - Haynes/Hübner/Menotti Trio. Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt. Germany

2/8/2010 - ELISION Ensemble. Kings Place. London, England

11/26/2009 - ELISION Ensemble. Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. England

10/4/2008 - ELISION Ensemble. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Brisbane, Australia

10/25/2015 - William Lang, Adrian Sandi, Andy Kozar. Spectrum. New York, NY.

6/11/2015 - Ensemble PraesenzGalerie Schmidt&Handrup. Berlin, Germany.

6/10/2015 - Ensemble PraesenzGalerie Schmidt&Handrup. Cologne, Germany.

1/21/2014 - PRAESENZ. Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik [FGNM]. Instituto Cervantes. Frankfurt, Germany

11/9/2013 - Carlos Cordeiro, Tim Leopold & William Lang. The Firehouse. Brooklyn, NY

2/15/2013 ELISION Ensemble.University College Cork. Cork, Ireland.  

2/12/2013 ELISION EnsembleNational Concert Hall. Kevin Barry Room. Dublin, Ireland.  



"The other really notable piece on this programme was Timothy McCormack’s Disfix. This is an important work by a very important (although still emerging) composer. Again, I heard this work for the first time at HCMF, where the sheer violence and force of this work were nearly overwhelming." -"Invisibility", Robert Dahm [ Sound is Grammar ]

"Tim McCormack‘s Disfix for bass clarinet, piccolo trumpet, and trombone had a very different quality of intensity, to say the least. I think of it as multiply embedded explosions. I don’t even know if that is possible, let alone accurate, but it’s how I remember it. The performances by Rich Haynes, Tristram Williams, and Benjamin Marks were hugely energetic and truly stellar." -"Huddersfield 2009 (2/5) - ELISION", Jennie Gottschalk [ Sound Expanse ]

"Pleasant sounds pop about in a mild, gently hysterical frenzy. Parts break up, jump from one performer to another and then come tightly together in parallel. Phrases are short, silences are brief. Lots of talking and singing through the instruments [...] By the end it all hangs together to give an overall movement from disjunction to cohesion. A difficult work brilliantly played; I could easily listen to it again." -"Musical Miracles", Greg Hooper [ Real Time Arts ]

"Although its notation is as complex as anything else on this CD [...], Timothy McCormack's Disfix presents an entirely different expressive view. Rather than seeking a crippled, critical, absurdist or distorted world, McCormack's physical parametrisations encourage a wildly energised, almost primal gestural language: an extravagant physicality that is electrified by the body's possibilities [...]. It is the difference between Joyce and Kafka." -CD liner notes for "Strange Forces", Tim Rutherford-Johnson

"Timothy McCormack’s Disfix builds on similar techniques of decoupling. The multi-dimensional interaction of mouth, fingers, breath and vocal actions in his trio for bass clarinet, piccolo trumpet and trombone produces a tough, infinitely complex nest of contradictory forces, and music that is both brash and continually under threat of self-destruction. It made for an invigorating start." -"OUT HEAR: Invisibility", Tim Rutherford-Johnson [ Musical Pointers ]

program note

Forces among forces – Forces within forces: each with their own dynamic properties and behaviors, each existing in the same space as the others, and thus each presenting the possibility to cast their significance over the others. All forces mediate others, and are themselves capable of being mediated. The piece both constructs and results from these mediating apparatuses of influence. Forces of physicality: the performer and the instrument. Forces of communication: the performers among themselves. Forces of confrontation: the performer(s) and the score. Forces of construction: the ensemble and the listener. Forces of sensation: the piece and the perceiver. These barriers are both conditions of the piece, as well as that which defines it. Finally, Robert Smithson: “It seems that beyond the barrier, there are only more barriers."