Flute dbl. Alto Flute

Bass Clarinet






There are six major fundaments which this piece is built on:

1. Tom Waits song Shore Leave from which I’ve transcribed the intro and the first verse and arranged them into bar 1-39, the chorus into bar 147-158. The words are talked or sung into the tube of the BassClarinet. The verse at bar 16-37 (talk) and the chorus at bar 147-158 (sing).

2. Tuning up. Which unnoticed leads into the intro (1-39) where the ”tuning” continues.

The rhythmic accelerando/rallentando is based on the beats caused by the natural vibration when tuning strings. This reappears later in the piece.

3. Tonality/Modality which works its way through the circle of fifths in minor.

Am 1-39, Dm 40-54, Gm 57-75, Cm 80-90, Fm 91-107, Bbm 108-129, Ebm 130-145, G#m 147-162, C#m 163-174, F#m 175-185, Hm 186-200, Em 201-213, Am 214-237.

4. Quartertones which primary function is to interfer with the strict tonality of the piece.

For every key I use three quartertones. They are based on the three strongest partials of each parallell major scale.

5. Preparation of the piano to create percussive sounds which will substitute an odd drumset, a bizarre marimba and different, out of tune, bell-like sounds.

6. Different asian pentatonic scales and the national hymns of Japan, China and Corea were transcribed and arranged into the score.

Four examples of asian pentatonic scales (dm)


(T. Waits)

Swordfishtrombones, album cover 1983

Well with buckshot eyes and a purple heart I rolled down the national stroll with a big fat paycheck strapped to my hipsack and a shore leave wristwatch underneath my sleeve in a Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban heels I rowed down the gutter to the Blood Bank

I’d left all my papers on the Ticonderoga and I was in bad need of a shave

I slopped at the corner on cold chow mein and shot billiards with a midget until the rain stopped and I bought a long sleeved shirt with horses on the front and some gum and a lighter and a knife and a new deck of cards with girls on the back and I sat down and wrote a letter to my wife.

I said baby

I’m so far away from home

and I miss my baby so

I can’t make it by myself

I love you so

Score extract, first chorus sung into the bass clarinet


Siren festival 2005, Gothenburg, Sweden

UNM festival 2005, Helsinki, Finland

ISCM festival 2009, Sydney, Australia


13 min.


Shore Leave (longer presentation in swedish)

Tom Waits homepage


Copenhagen, april 2005

Extract from the first performance at the Concert House in Gothenburg, Sweden, 2005.