Grade 4 (5:08)
Small Messages is inspired by Twitter, the social media news service known for its short, 140 character, news bites. There are obvious allusions to Twitter in the music, such as the length of the work (exactly 140 measures), as well as some more obscured references, such as the use of five short motives that are repeated - or "retweeted" - throughout the music. Perhaps the most obscure reference is the fact that each of these five motives also represents a group of characters from a tweet about Twitter:
The world tweets in silence, yet billions attempt to listen to this utterly nonsensical and noiseless cacophony that sums our daily routine.
This tweet was "translated" into music, with the three most common letters (T, E, and S) each receiving their own motive. The next four common letters (I, N, O, L) share a single motive, and the remaining letters in the tweet share a motive as well. This translation created a musical thread that can be traced through the entire work. Thus the tweet is omnipresent, at times in the background, but never disappearing entirely.