Monday, January 18, 2010

New Percussion Piece

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, I've just finished a new composition for non-pitched percussion solo, commissioned by Peter Jarvis and Calabrese Brothers Music for inclusion in an anthology to be published by Calabrese. This is the second piece they've commissioned from me--the first was Jungle 5-7675, a drumset solo. That was published last year in the anthology Drumset Music for the Concert Stage, Vol. 1. Peter gave a tremendous premiere of Jungle 5 at The College of New Jersey at a composers concert there in March of last year.

Calabrese Brothers has so far published four of these anthologies for percussion --the first was a vibraphone collection, a commissioning project of Peter's with the New Jersey Composers Guild. Since then there have been handrum and timpani solo collections as well as the drum set collection. Others, including this one of solos for a variety of instruments, are in the works.

My new piece doesn't have a title yet. I'm casting around for something suitable. The setup is for four cymbals, two gongs and a floor tom. Like "Jungle 5," it's based on a simple, short integer series that affects the music on a variety of levels. To me, it has a both a ritualistic and an outsized, larger-than-life feeling about it. The concept of monstrosity was on my mind for many years, particularly in the late '90s, and it still lingers there like a tint in the background of the music I write now. In an upcoming blog, I'll talk more about my thoughts on monstrosity and music.

I'm amazed at the hard work and dedication to these projects that Peter Jarvis and Calabrese Brothers have shown. More organizations should be following that model of direct involvement with the composers, resulting in performances and published scores--a huge service to the musical community in general and to percussionists in particular.


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