…tied to the past

posted on July 29th 2014 in with 0 Comments

Instrumentation: Percussion Septet (2 solo players)

Duration: 7 minutes

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Premiered by Music Academy of the West Percussion Ensemble on August 11, 2010

Commissioned by Music Academy of the West

Publisher: Bachovich Music Publications

…tied to the past, was written for the Percussion Ensemble at The Music Academy of the West and was premiered in July 2010.  It featured the two faculty members, Ted Atkatz and Mike Werner as soloists.   The title refers to an imaginary larger piece with the idea that the beginning is actually the climax of a larger work.  The ensemble is equipped with drums, wood blocks and dry metal sounds, used to echo the two soloist’s material.  Not only is there a play on sounds and timbres, but also on techniques.  The types of strokes used, dead strokes, buzz, single stroke rolls and letting the stick drop naturally, is all notated.  As the soloist’s material deteriorates the ensemble starts to dictate all activity.  The sound of muffled marimba played with large bass drum mallets turns this pitched instrument into an eerie non-pitched rumble.  The soloists then react by trying to pull out the pitches of their drums only to be overtaken by the buzzing and scraping of woodblocks.  In the last attempt to hold their ground with loud rim rimshots, they’re finally swallowed up by a cacophony of small wood planks played on top of glissing timpani, which acts as an echoing chamber.  By the end all sounds dissipate to nothing, similar to how it all possibly began.