Composed by Brian Ferneyhough
For solo piccolo
Published by C.F. Peters Corp.
The sound of any extremely high or low instrument tends, at least for me, to evoke associations with borders, boundaries, and with whatever lies beyond. Thus, in this little one-movement composition, I attempted to reflect these sensations in such a way as to suggest the fleeting sketching-in of the brittle outline, the trace without dimensions representing some ultimate 'inside of the outside', itself never to be captured in sound.
Formally, Superscriptio is built up of interlocking observations of a dense network of precomposed metric and proportional relationships. Notable, perhaps, in this connection is the introduction and extensive employment of such unusual bar-lengths as 3/10, 4/24, 5/20, etc. Variations in texture and momentum are achieved by means of distortion of the complex patterns created by the mobile juxtaposition of such values, as well as by the gradual de-synchronisation of bar-length gestural shaping, dynamic levels and rhythmic density.
The composition was written during the latter months of 1981 at the requst of Roberto Fabbriciani, to whom it is dedicated.
– Brian Ferneyhough