This composition is informed by research into the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth and her writings about the creative process. It reflects her concern with carving and creating different forms from the same basic material. Carved Forms engages with the following:
• Finding musical analogies for Hepworth’s creation of different forms from the same material.
• Creating musical equivalents for the different forms employed by Hepworth.
• Exploring compositionally her statement that: “Before I can start carving the idea must be almost complete. I say ‘almost’ because the really important thing seems to be the sculptor’s ability to let his intuition guide him over the gap between conception and realisation…” (‘Approach to Sculpture’, The Studio, vol.132, no.643, 1946).
Original research was conducted into the different possible set-theory parsing of Mode VI of limited of transposition. It was discovered that the mode consists of two interleaved transpositions of the all-trichord hexachord 6Z-17 and a combination of discreet interleaved versions of the all-interval tetrachords 4Z-15 and 4Z-29. This enabled the rigorous use of a wide range of possible developments of the mode from the juxtaposition of 4Z-15 and 4Z-29 in movement I, to the modally saturated chords in movements II and V, to the use 6Z-17 in movements III and IV. Thus, the same mode is “carved” in different ways.
The forms employed in each movement are informed by those used by Hepworth and are often present on the musical surface. However, in movement II the title Two Forms refers not only to the two obvious sub-movements, but also to each sub-movement consisting of two concealed superimposed forms.
Hepworth’s statement above was reflected in the compositional process, such that both the individual movements and the overall balance of movements was planned in advance, but the details for each movement was not.