Outside the Eyes

Year composed: 2012 – 13

Instrumentation: (2) violins, viola, cello

Duration (approx.): 9′


FINALIST: New Ideas in Music composition competition. 2013

SEMI-FINALIST: American Prize in Composition, chamber music division. 2014

Commissioned by and dedicated to the Third Angle New Music Ensemble. Premiered by the Third Angle Ensemble as part of their annual New Ideas in Music composition competition on March 21st, 2013.





The performers are to pick one of four optional parts. Each part has a unique meter, rhythmic vocabulary, and notation, and because of this there is no singular score. The object of this piece is to place emphasis on aural cohesion both in the ears of the performer and together as an ensemble by means of their individual parts, rather than reliance on one possible iteration through a score.


The pulse is assigned to a different rhythmic value in each part – for example, in part I the pulse is assigned to the eighth note, while in part II the pulse is assigned to the quarter note. The tempo is the same for each performer (60bpm), regardless of which rhythmic value the pulse is assigned to, therefore the performers are encouraged to NOT pick the same part. Whichever part the performers chose, focus should be on counting the given rhythmic value with special emphasis on accuracy.


Each of the parts has a different meter, so to help foster efficient rehearsals a rehearsal marker has been assigned to each point when every performer’s meters have a collective downbeat. Major points of arrival also correspond to the rehearsal markers. Measure numbers won’t be as useful during rehearsals since each performer will have a different number of measures between rehearsal markers. Meter in this instance is acting as a kind of structural counterpoint to the music, rather than being an organizing force.

Copyright © Jay Derderian Music Publishing (ASCAP), 2018. All Rights Reserved.


By Jay

Composer, guitarist, husband, father, pun enthusiast.

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