Microexercises were started when the Miniaturist Ensemble asked for a piece with no more than 100 notes in it. Having enjoyed making one such piece, I went on to make 21 more (and then a second collection, Grete, with an additional 14). Instrumentation and number of players are mostly open, as are selection of pieces, playing order, clef and transposition readings, and dynamics.
I like the notion of quite long pieces, and, more recently, also quite short ones (these have a history too: Beethoven's Bagatelles, Schumann, Webern, Cage's piano Haiku from the 1950s, Kurtag). I don't worry too much about intensity of focus; it's more about transitoriness and catching what's going by, then letting it go. And making each piece itself, not like the others, or, if repeated, there is also the possibility of its being different from itself.
Christian Wolff, July 2013