I am endlessly fascinated by rhythmically exciting music. I’m addicted to the thrill of experiencing a rhythmic revelation as an unexpected pulse recontextualises my understanding of a groove, or being surprised by a sudden yet completely precise shift in tempo. This is partly what inspired me to compose Propulsive Instabilityin 2018 for Ensemble Apex’s call-for-scores. The piece exploits a heavy (almost Stravinskian) use of syncopation and irregular metres to create a driving yet unpredictable rhythmic energy — imagine running faster than your body can bear, and existing in a panicked state of perpetual forward motion – hence the title, Propulsive Instability.

Ben Robinson

Thanks to the many postponements caused by the global pandemic, Ensemble Apex and I have anxiously waited three years to present this piece to the world, giving me time to become a little wiser and reflect on my earlier work. Looking back at this piece in 2021 has been an enlightening process.

As a student composing Propulsive Instability,I took the opportunity to experiment with new musical concepts; particularly non-dyadic time signatures, which...