MAQUETTE was commissioned by COMA London and was premiered by them, in Christ Church, Spitalfields, in 2005. I was delighted to have a project in which to explore the revelations the COMA phenomenon has delivered about musical means and ends: richness and impact can accrue without the notational micro-exactitude and specialist levels of virtuosity characteristically demanded within the avant-garde. These revelations directed me to think in terms of broad archetypes, such as 'line', 'accompaniment' and 'ostinato', and to specify one dimension - say, the rhythm - while leaving another - (pitch) - loosely defined (or the other way around).

Like AGRICOLAS (2008), MAQUETTE reflects a particular interest of mine in parallels with modern sculpture. I was thinking of the materials and forms of Sir Anthony Caro's sculptures, whose main elements (such as chunky metal sheets) seem at once very clear but equally mysterious, abstract. This seemed a good starting point for the materials of this work: the opening section presents a slow line over a clunking accompaniment, but after some group flourishes this gives way to driving rhythmic patterns. A Maquette is a scale model made in preparation for a full-size sculpture.

c Piers Hellawell 2010