I have often written miniatures for special occasions: solo pieces, choral tributes, cabaret songs, pieces for friends, family, anniversaries, birthdays. Composing short pieces involves a delicate touch, giving an idea room to breathe without cutting it short, setting an atmosphere while containing the form. A piece usually tells us its duration moments after the appearance of the first idea - think of a Chopin etude or Beethoven's Lebe wohl. Moments is a series of five related miniatures for chamber ensemble. The first movement is an homage to Mozart's clarinet writing without quotes or parodies, the second an expansion of a short piece for solo flute written in honour of Kaija Saariaho's fiftieth birthday, the third a tango with an extra foot in 5/8 time, the fourth a lyrical moment for solo violin, the fifth is both minimal and erotic, inspired by the work of British ceramic artist Dan Kelley, a master of small forms.
- Rodney Sharman