My Three Pieces for clarinet and piano began as an attempt to set to music poems by Antonia Stjernfelt-Nilsson. I soon realised that my treatment of the voice was too instrumental, so I reworked the material for clarinet and piano.
Emotionally, the Three Pieces represent a journey from anger and pain to calm and inner strength. Stylistically, they can be seen as a journey from west to east.
The first piece is written in chromatically saturated tonality resembling the style prevalent in Austria and Germany in the early twentieth century. The second piece combines this chromaticism with harmony based on fourths and contrasts it with lyrical sections in simple diatonic tonality. In the third and longest piece, the intervals of the fourth and fifth become even more important, taking the form of pentatonic motifs inspired by chinese music. However, these motifs modulate chromatically in a typically european way.
This synthesis of european and chinese features is not something I planned in advance. It arose spontaneously during the composition process.