This piece opens with the three soloists arranged as a quasi duet: the bass clarinet and trombone acting as one sonic entity, and the trumpet as another. As the piece progresses, this structure dissolves into three independent lines, which struggle to find a unified balance. Smaller, strained voices emerge that lead to a transformation for each soloist, as they metamorphose into each other's characters: the bass clarinet slowly transforming into the pale trumpet voice of the opening, the trombone stuck between the bass clarinet and the trumpet's characters, and the trumpet becoming a dual character, having simultaneously to embody/speak the harsh opening voices of both the trombone and the bass clarinet.
The soloists of the piece are often accompanied by their corresponding instruments in the ensemble. These identical "siblings" serve to highlight the voice of each of the soloists, as well as provide a protective haze around them as they transform in the orchestral landscape.
The timpani, the three percussionists, and the harp to combine to form what I think of as a giant rotational device, which assists with the transformation of the soloists in the piece, slowly rotating them from one place to another. This axis comprises two components: the three percussionists forming one half of the axis, initially accompanying the trombone and bass clarinet, and the timpani and harp forming the other half, initially accompanying the trumpet. As the axis slowly rotates throughout the piece, these components begin to awap their accompanying roles, drawing each of the soloists into their new characters, and opening the door to the extensions of these characters: the background forces.
There are initially two main background forces in the piece, with a third force developing later in the piece. These are thought of as three extensions of the soloists' characters, giving further clarity to the narrative of metamorphosis that takes place in the piece, as if the soloists are at the tip of a much bigger sound mass happening behind them. The first background force is cone ted to the opening trumpet characters — other upper-register instruments creative a pale, still line, which the trumpet voice quietly emerges and develops from. The intensely raucous second background comprises middle and low instruments, a dense texture that the fractured voices of the trombone and bass clarinet evolve from. A third background forms, where the horn begins to represent the in-between-ness on the solo trombone, as it gets lost in the energy of transformation.
The piece is a quasi-palindrome; the transference of these instrumental energies and characters combine to create a rich, intertwined sonic fabric of overlapping worlds, a state of infinate and immeasurable timelessness, between moving backward and forward, between hearing and rehearing, between the beginning and the end. Hence the title, taken from Samuel Beckett's Company: "If the voice is not speaking to him it must be speaking to another. So with what reason remains he reasons. To another of that other. Or of him. Or of another still." — Ann Cleare