This piece was written for my teacher, George Benjamin’s 60th anniversary.
I was asked to write for clarinet duo.
I immediately thought this duo could be something like two birds gliding in the sky.
I don’t particularly have much interest in bird song, but I am always interested in the movements of birds. How freely they fly together with other birds, gracefully moving together but not completely so, as if completing each other’s movements.
Flying together, but not fighting to be leader (unlike humans, birds, insects and fish are clever: they don’t fight for leadership especially when they are swarming).
Freely flying, but then always moving around each other.
Free but with an overall shape.
So this makes both clarinets, for the most part, move in a similar direction, such as flying very far above the ground and coming down towards us, closer to the earth.
Never stopping, flying very fast, and yet very calm.
I thought the clarinet would be the best instrument to do this, as it has a vast range, and each register has very different sounds.
Just as in how birds fly, Twin Tweets moves across the pitch register, from very high to low, moving around, flying around the middle register, sometimes together, sometimes not together but always complimenting each other.
If we were like birds, free and completing each other, the world would be a more peaceful place.
Dai Fujikura (edited by Alison Phillips)