Sonic Embers

Duration: 5:00-7:00 (approx.)

Difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Released: 2017

Players: (1) 2 almglocken, 1 metal can, tapping feet on floor

Purchase PDF Sheet Music

(written for Moose Davis)

About “Sonic Embers”

“SONIC EMBERS” is an ethereal multi-percussion solo that uses elements of improvisation and graphic score interpretation. Moose Davis asked that I compose an atmospheric piece as he had been working on pieces that were mostly fast + technically challenging at the time and wanted a stark contrast to those works.

Conceptually, “SONIC EMBERS” is based on images and text. The image (featured in the above album artwork for “SONIC EMBERS”) is a photo of the inside of a marimba resonator. This picture inspired me to write a text, which I then set to music as the score for “SONIC EMBERS.” While this piece is a setting of a text, the text is not recited during the piece. Each line of the text is realized as a line of the score and the text should guide the performer’s interpretation and performance.

While the score features no time signature, no tempo marking, and very few dynamic markings, “SONIC EMBERS” should be performed at a relatively slow tempo and quiet volume. Performers should feel free to stray from these tempo and dynamic suggestions should their interpretation of the score and text draw them to those conclusions. This piece is written spacially in the sense that events and silences should occur somewhat proportionally to how they are written in the score (each line of the score does not necessarily last the same amount of time).

“SONIC EMBERS” is great for students looking to explore multi-percussion works that feature graphic scores + improvisatory elements + ethereal soundscapes.

Below is the full text that guides “SONIC EMBERS”

Windswept moon on stars in your eye

The telephone traffic of cars in the night

Flutter, the slow crackle of wings in flight

And the whisper of mice on a hardwood floor

It falls, floating towards the sky

Small planets atrophy

Sinking into the sea

The laser light highway woven of sonic embers

Guides you to the never

In the distance you hear it

The calm call of the fields in fall

The electric dissolve

Beams of light in lysis

In the dark hours of the outhouse

Where the breeze rattles like thunder

How do you see the moon?