Skywire

Duration: 6:44

Difficulty: ★★★★☆

Released: 2018

Players: (2) vibraphone, kick drum, snare drum, 3 tom toms, ride cymbal, hi-hat

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(dedicated to Rashaad Greene, written for GreeneShark Duo)

About “Skywire”

While “SKYWIRE” is a percussion duo scored for drum kit + vibraphone, it can also be interpreted as a multi-percussion duo where one setup consists of instruments found in a drum kit and the other setup consists of keys on a vibraphone. Although the vibraphone is treated as a multi-percussion instrument, there is still a clear melodic shape throughout the piece.

The drum kit + vibraphone exchange melodic and rhythmic while each percussionist has the opportunity to function as the lead voice and accompaniment.

The drum kit part calls for the percussionist to perform grooves that utilize the entire drum kit as well as improvise. The vibraphone part calls for the percussionist to play with four-mallets and switch between playing on the center/edges of keys and the nodes to produce various colors and timbres.

“SKYWIRE” is great for students looking for a percussion duo that are interested in drum kit, vibraphone, or multi-percussion music with a jazz/pop influence. “SKYWIRE” features melodic playing, intricate polyrhythms, colorful textures, and a balance between loose/improvisatory moments and fast-paced passages.

The image on the cover of this piece is of a sculpture hanging above the streets outside of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway.

Sonic Embers

Duration: 5:00-7:00 (approx.)

Difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Released: 2017

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

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(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?

Glass Tiger

Duration: 4:56

Difficulty: ★★★★☆

Released: 2017

Players: (1) 4 pitched resonant objects, 1 high-pitched non-resonant metal, 1 low-pitched non-resonant non-metal

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(commissioned by Wes Fowler)

About “Glass Tiger”

“GLASS TIGER” is a multi-percussion solo commissioned by Wes Fowler and was premiered by him on September 14th, 2018.

“GLASS TIGER” was initially composed with the idea that all of the instruments used in the setup could fit in a backpack/suitcase, so that “GLASS TIGER” would be an easy piece to travel with. Since the specific instrumentation is left up to the performer, setups can range in size from small (ex. woodblocks + desk bells) to large (ex. tom-toms and tuned gongs)!

The opening motif is played by the right hand, which is then joined by the left hand playing the same motif – offset rhythmically by a 16th note. The entire piece is structured around the performer playing ‘in phase’ with themselves and the rhythmic patterns moving around the setup to create melodic structures and patterns.

“GLASS TIGER” is great for students familiar with multi-percussion music and looking to explore minimalist and pattern-based music.