Tunnel was begun without knowing where it would end up. In the real world, this would be a bad way to run a tunneling project, but since the new music community has been overlooked by the Triumph of Capitalism, we can still afford to grope around blindly in the dark, and sniff the dirt and rubble along the way.

With its two thematic groups, a development of sorts, and a sonata-like narrative sensibility, Tunnel is a kind of ersatz sonata movement. It begins with an oblique plundering of the opening Largo of Beethoven’s Third Rasumovsky Quartet (Op. 59, no. 3). Beethoven’s pitches, once relieved of their original voice-leading agendas, are then reordered and used as a foil to the opening descending scale figures—at first set apart, then forced into cohabitation, and finally gaining the last word in a slow chorale.