Accordion Motel

This work has three sources: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (from whence come the two loud opening chords), the Dutch composer Guus Jansen’s One Bar for harpsichord (whence the extended cross- rhythms), and the dub song Dread River by the reggae group Burning Spear (whence the wobbly groove and predominance of very short notes). These three musics, so distant from each other, brought to mind medieval isorhythmic motets, with their three distinct texts and melodies–but for the accordion, “motel” seemed more apt than “motet”.

There is very little material in this piece. For the most part, there are six possible chords, two dynamics, and two kinds of durations in each hand. These building blocks were assembled using random numbers, which means in this case many rolls of dice.

The work was written at the request of the accordionist, Tiina Kiik, to whom it is dedicated.