Blending Forces, a trio for clarinet, violoncello, and marimba, was created in 2006 as the musical counterpart to Waylon Anderson’schoreography, which involved nine dancers. The aspects that were mostly explored in the piece were related to the number of performers on both sides (musicians and dancers), their positioning on the stage, and how this affected their interaction. Unlike later works, the musicians remain quite static in this piece, only shifting positions between movements.
The musical content of each of the three movements in this piece is significantly different from each other. The first one, written for solo cello, explores how an ever moving musical gesture can still be perceived as being static. The second movement, the only one in which all three instruments play together, shows an ascending motion from the beginning to the end, with occasional moments when all three performers come together - or close enough- playing with several degrees of synchronization. The third and last part, for clarinet and marimba, is more melodic but also brings back changing metric patterns, as it had happened in the first movement already.
In spite of the original format, the piece has since been performed in concert setting (without dancers, that is) and what was three movements of the same piece became three different pieces that work equally well together as they do when separate.