Placozoa Op.16 (2019)
Duration: 8:00 min.
Premiere: February 10th, 2020 in New York City, US by Yifei Xu.
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The following piece is a try to structurally represent the life of Placozoa. With shape-shifting bodies that are made of only six different cell types, they represent the most simple free living animals on Earth and alive today. Every minute of this composition roughly represents 100 million years of placozoan evolution, after which they still retain this extraordinary simplicity.
Apart from sexual reproduction, which forms the zygote that lends its name to the first motive of the piece, Placozoa can reproduce by budding off a piece of their body that then floats away, or, most commonly, by splitting up into two. This process of splitting up is reflected in the moment when all seven cell type motives come together – and split up again.
The seven motives appear individually but regularly throughout the formal architecture of the piece. They are its structural ‘Bauplan’. They are not fixed in pitch or rhythm; their qualities are changeable and evolve, but their gestures remain invariable.