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Clarke - Zoom Tube

Vectoral Analysis by Diego Barbosa-Vásquez

Clarke - Zoom Tube

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Historical Background

Composed in 1999, the piece is the result of the huge advances of the music in the previous years (now used to achieve a musical goal) and the relation of academic music with the pop culture started at the 80s. The influences of the extended techniques on the flute, developments by Robert Dick (in terms of multiphonics and chords) and by Ligeti (related to the singing while playing), are examples of it. On the other hand, the steady rhythm that can be linked to the minimalist style, is a device that is used by popular styles as blues too. Furthermore, the latino-american influence is seen in the uses of microtonal developments and the continues developments of rhythm - a fact that can be linked to Carter and Messiaen too.

Overview, Structure, and Texture

The piece is easily received by the audience due to three elements. First has a clear structure based in 5 parts. Begging - 2 (introduction), Bar 35 to 46 (first theme), Bar 47-57 (development), 58 - 78 (first theme that goes to the end ending with a YOW!!!), and 79 - end (the coda or ending section). Procedures that can be linked to post-modernism composers that return to the form in order to involve the audience in an easier way to the pieces. Second, has a continual growth from a pp at the beginning to a frenetic section in FF in the last section. An architecture that can be linked to Arvo Part, or the Pop culture of excitement music with Steve Reich as one of the possible influencers. Third, despite the fact of some chords, the whole music discourse is based in a monodic texture with a strong rhythmical component. This is possible a Latin-american and pop culture influence where the complexity is not in the amount of melodies, is in the rhythmic and its development.

Orchestration Techniques

The orchestration technique is based three elements. First, in the Robert Dick advances in multiphonics in the flute. Second, in the advances of Ligeti in singing while playing. Third, the uses of phonemes influenced by Berio and Ligeti. Those advances are used in almost the same notes. However, those advances are used now as tools of a musical concept and goal. Those are used as effects to create a sound result that is an important advance to previous composers where were used as the goal.

Basic Techniques

The piece is based in three main basic techniques. First, the use of multiphonics that defines the vertical models a clear influence of Dick work. Second, steady rhythm and repetitive periods that creates an easily piece to hear. An influence that can be linked to the minimalism of Riley, Reich and the pop music. Third, the structure that has a continues growing from PP in the beginning to the last section in FFF that starts even with a YOW. This structure can be related to the pop culture where the excitement of the piece grows in a continued ascending pattern.

Vertical Models

Vertical models of the present piece are based in multiphonics possibilities. Is very important to highlight that the chords have a strong relation with Dick’s work Afterlight, even keeping the same notes, but this can be the result of the possibilities of the flute technique allowing just a certain kind of possible chords. Some changes can be analyzed between both pieces. Frist. in Zoom Tube, the octaves are used to emphasis the melodic line and give to it an extra color not as an important chord. Second, the Clarke’s piece uses the second (A-B), the triadic 6 of A (E-C#-A) and the fourth (F#-B) as primarily chords to be heard by the audience.

Horizontal Models

Horizontal models are based in a periodical approach of phrases, a fact that creates momentary centers and horizontal movements that goes to those centers. An example of it is bar 2, where the pitches moves from the A-B to the G compensating leaps. This movement is repeated 2 times in bars 5-7 due to the duplicated period now with up-beats that gives energy to the movement. Another example of momentary center can be seen in bars 59-63 with the pitches returning to a F#. In addition, the center is stronger confirmed due to the use of microtonal tones that creates a descendent scale by quarters of tones to the F# momentary center. Those procedures can be linked to the Arvo Part approach to the centers and the minimalistic style of short periods that can be repeated and expanded with Riley and Reich as possible influencers.


The style of the piece can be defined as a blend between three mainly point. First, a virtuosic flute piece. Here the composer uses multiphonics, a device that is influenced by Dick but can be linked to the electronic avant-garde with Stockhausen to. In addition, is a piece that uses phonemes that can be linked to Ligeti advances, creating a very virtuosic piece. Second, the uses of steady rhythms and periodical short phrases. The minimalism with Riley, Reich, and the pop music can be seen as possible influencers. Third, the structure that grows continuously with the pop culture as the possible influencer of it.

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