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Living : for bass clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion

by Paul Cutlan (1991)

Audio Sample

Performance by Paul Cutlan String Project from the CD Living

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Living / Paul Cutlan String Project.

Library shelf no. CD 3148 [Not for loan]

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Work Overview

In 1991, I participated in some creative rhythm workshops led by master drummer David Jones. I was fascinated by the technique of dividing odd numbers of beats like 5 or 7, by 2, 3 or 4.

On the train home from one of these workshops, I jotted down a short tune using the 5 divided into 4 feel and called it Living. The arrangement for this album gave me a chance to score some of those concepts for strings with the bass clarinet dancing around their polyrhythms. An energetic solo from Brett Hirst leads to a trade of ideas between the subsets of the group before the final truncated statement of the theme.

2 versions of this arrangement exist: one with percussion and one without.

Work Details

Year: 1991

Instrumentation: Bass clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion (1 player).

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmic complexity: 5 against 4 groove. Improvisation required of bass clarinet, double bass and percussion.


  • In the form/style of: Jazz

Performances of this work

7 Feb 2021: at Paul Cutlan String Project: Living (Riverside Theatres, Parramatta). Featuring Paul Cutlan String Project.

3 Nov 2020: at Paul Cutlan String Project ‘Living’ Album Launch (Old 505 Theatre). Featuring Paul Cutlan String Project.

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