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Bethan Morgan-WilliamsGêmdisyn (2020)
for solo clarinet

Carl Rosman, clarinet

Janet Sinica, video/editing
Jan Böyng, editing
Stephan Schmidt, recording producer/editing

The word ‘Gêmdis’ combines the Welsh words for ‘game’ and ‘dice’. Morgan-Williams’s Gêmdis was composed in 2020 for Carl Rosman and Musikfabrik. Gêmdisyn – the suffix -yn designating in Welsh a singular thing found in the natural world – is based on the solo E-flat clarinet part of that piece. It is more like a new piece made from recycled materials than a mere extraction, however: sections have been reordered, reshaped and in some cases discarded entirely. While Gêmdis took several rolls through different emotional states, Gêmdisyn alternates between just two: a whimsical, skipping chatter, like a child talking to itself, and a fiery, flashing loss of control. A new central section of fragile harmonics and deliberately audible leaks of air – ironically marked ‘mechanical’ – breaks the pattern and despite its delicacy adds a degree of certainty to the random shakes of the dice. As the game comes to its end and the different temperaments depart, it is this atmosphere that remains.

Gêmdisyn was commissioned by Musikfabrik and written for Carl Rosman.

Tim Rutherford-Johnson