A Bonsai Garden Set IV—for clarinet and marimba—is dedicated to Luis Arturo García and David Bracamontes, who premiered the work (pictured here.) It is part of what has become a whole collection of small pieces—an opportunity to explore the delicate musical form of miniatures. The original group of six Bonsai Garden sets were written between 2009 and 2010, with each set of movements dedicated to a different instrumental combination.
This set plays with numbers. First there’s the symmetrical ordering of movements, with movement one and nine share a clarinet motive while movement two and eight play with repetitions of a single note or chord. In the second movement the clarinet keeps adding a note to its solo while the marimba subtracts notes. In the central movement a Fibonacci sequence appears which moves from the largest to smallest numbers, with note repetitions occurring in groups of 21, then 13, 8, 5, 3, 2, and 1 quarter-note beats.