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Impossible Games II   (2017)

for solo clarinet and a bass drum as a resonator

Performance by Jake Randell

This work is inspired by late Scottish author Iain Bank’s Walking on Glass, a novel which, in part, tells the story of two war criminals that have been imprisoned inside a castle and provided with a series of impossible games to pass the time until they can solve the riddle: “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?” These games, including “one-dimensional chess”, “open-plan Go” and “spotless dominoes”, are equally confusing, frustrating and endless—each ultimately difficult. While, in Impossible Games I, the two characters struggling with these games are represented by two clarinetists interacting with a bass drum, Impossible Games II simplifies matters, focusing on the interaction between a solo clarinetist and a bass drum. Through a series of tasks, the player uses the clarinet to either make the clarinet and drum sound separately or simultaneously.

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