The title refers to short, jagged gestures that permeate the piece. These fragments interrupt the ongoing music then gradually take over the texture, until they are in turn dethroned by another "shard." The title also points to the image the music creates. The piece begins slow and unassuming. As it goes, a more erratic character infiltrates the music until it is like some giant unstoppable spinning wheel, aggressively spraying out white-hot sparks. In the end this machine doesn't wind down, but instead suddenly runs of steam allowing the original, subdued music to return.
Osborne, Thomas Abercrombie. "Shards." (2002) Master’s Thesis, Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/17534.