Cycles can be said to consist of two elements, a rhythmic and a melodic one. The rhythmic element is represented by a row, that occurs several times in the percussion section in canon between the various percussion instruments and also in tutti sections with block rhythm, reminding of Stravinsky ("Rite of Spring"). The percussion canon occurs several times during the piece and was decisive for the choice of the name Cycles.
The second element is melodic, and it is connected to a modal harmonic conception. Small melodic cells are created and they occur mainly in the two slow sections, one of which appears slightly after the rhythmic introduction and the other one later on.
"When composing Cycles I decided about which notes would predominate in each section according to the intervals which had the character I wanted – in the slow sections I chose thirds, seconds and tritons. The absence of notes which did not belong to the modes in question created a very clear harmonic colour, and the modes could also be transposed like tonal transposition or the use of transposed twelve tone rows".
The third element of the piece is a development of the second, melodic idea. When more and more melodic parts are added, the music becomes blurred and a cluster effect is achieved. The clusters can be built up by the same melodic and harmonic material as in the transparent sections thus creating a sense of unity and compositoric coherence.
Towards the end a large orchestral climax is created when the strings and wood wind play an extremely dense cluster that sounds like a stormy "cloud" and the brass section play a very powerful harmonised melody in the low register of the instruments. The timpani and bass drum play a long tremolo in fortissimo solving the tension only with the skillfully delayed final bang.
The work was premiered by Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Gary Bertini in 1992. The Israeli premier took place in 1996 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Theodor Guschlbauer and was recorded by the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
The work is included in the CD "Uneginotai Nenagen - And We Shall Sing my Songs of Praise", 1999.