Sounds from the Gray Goo SARS-CoV-2

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The duration is at the discretion of the performers, so the duration of each performance will vary.




Flex ensemble (up to 10 parts on any combination of wind, brass, strings, and/or percussion)


commissioned by

dedicated to


$ 150.00 USD
Sounds from the Gray Goo SARS-CoV-2

After witnessing my first experiment for percussionist plus laptop performer, clarinetist Rebecca Danard wanted me to write a laptop improvisation piece for her, so I eventually did.

Rebecca suggested that we work with pentatonic scales for our improvisation, so I created ten cells of notes (ranging from low to high) based on four Japanese pentatonic scales, then I recorded Rebecca improvising with the notes of these cells—all forty of them. The recordings of these improvisations were then electronically processed; this is included in the second clarinet part.

You can also find an adaptation (SftGG 2.1) available for (acoustic) clarinet ensemble.

  • Each part has a rhythmic cell. An instrumentalist is to play the rhythmic cell using pitches from one of four groups that are listed below (1–4). The pitches can be played in any order; the rhythmic cell must be followed exactly.
  • The pitches within the cells can be played at any octave, but please keep in mind the piece begins with the lowest notes and gradually ascends to the highest notes.
  • Each cell can be repeated as many times as desired.
  • Also, you don’t have to perform every cell!
  • Begin with cell #1. Repeat the cell as much as desired (or don’t play the cell), and then move onto cell #2. Continue in numerical order until cell #10.
  • After the first cell is performed, a player can pick a different pitch group (1-4) in the next cell or keep the same one. This applies to all cells.
  • There are optional extended techniques shown as an extra stave beneath “Part 2.” If there are 3+ performers, have a few perform these effects.
  • Now, for the fun part—
  • A conductor/ensemble/performer can decide how they want to shape this piece. Not everyone or every instrument has to play all the time. Maybe there is a leader who looks or points at people to play. Maybe there are colored flashcards involved. Maybe the pitches are made up and the ranges don’t matter (okay, just please go from low to high). This piece is YOURS. Have fun.

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