suspended destinies suspended

by Lauri Supponen

Empty sheet

Lauri Supponen

suspended destinies suspended

Music Finland


This piece was written as a collaboration with the saxophonist Rachel Parry-Ridout. We were both really keen in producing something that we would have both worked on, and although it is ultimately the composer’s responsibility to go away and come back with a finished piece, I wanted for our discussions and joint discoveries to feed into the compositional process. Also, I very much wanted to write a piece for Rachel in particular. And on day, the idea for the staging and layout of the piece came on a platter in a discussion we were having about how saxophonists are often requested to double with both the clarinet and the flute. As Rachel has a lot of experience with this, it wasn’t long before my imagination was putting together a scheme, involving instruments suspended in mid-air from the ceiling and a bucket of water.

The structuring of such a piece was very clear to me from the start. I had been preoccupied for some time with the concept of musical schicksal (destiny). A musical object or idea develops and transforms through time, and inevitably reaches (because every piece has to have an end) a goal of some kind, whether fulfilling or not – this could be a final permutation of a musical cell, the final iteration of a motive or as in this piece, the fulfillment of timbral imitation.

Suspended destinies suspended has four goals, or destinies, in total. The first is the idea of a perfect saxophone note, which is what all saxophonists strive for. The second goal is a perfect clarinet note – it is still very close to the saxophone sound, and so doesn’t interfere too severely with the first goal. The third goal is a perfect flute note. Although there are some similarities in the higher register between the sounds of the saxophone and the flute, this step creates tension with the first goal, which is why the music gets more agitated at this stage. Finally, the sound seeks to transform towards the fourth and furthest goal, the sound of bubbling water. This connection with natural sound creates the biggest tension of all between the various goals, and so the piece collapses.

- Lauri Supponen -


ssax [ssax+fl+cl]


Works for Solo Instrument


Premiered by Rachel Parry-Ridout at the RCM Inner Parry Room in early May 2010.



Commisioned by / dedications

The work is dedicated to Rachel Parry-Ridout.

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