Ligeti's work Ramifications exemplifies the development of what he termed ‘musical net-formations’. In this method of composition, lots of small repeated musical motifs are layered so intricately, that when they’re played none of them can be discerned separately.
Ramifications is composed for twelve string players, divided into two groups. Half of the instruments are tuned to a slightly higher pitch, resulting in an inescapable dissonance. The twelve musical parts then each move independently in detailed repeating patterns, that are layered so closely in pitch that the details are impossible to perceive.
These layered strands only disentangle in a few places, resulting in brief moments of more unified harmony.
Recorded 29 August 2018, City Gallery, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Producer/Engineer: Darryl Stack