two rhythmic spaces (2009)

I just finished a quick work for two percussionists playing several unpitched percussion instruments of their own choosing. I’m calling it two rhythmic spaces because in effect, each player resides in his or her own metric space. The first percussionist is playing 5:4 for most of the piece, while the second percussionist is playing 7:8 for the most part, so there is a 5:7 relationship between the two. I was going to leave it open as to whether the performers are strictly synchronized (in part because I suspect it’s really easy to get lost in the score), but the astute Dutch composer Samuel Vriezen convinced me on Facebook to take out my note in the score allowing asynchronous performance. He thinks it will work best that way, since the metric structure is so distinct anyway. Samuel also argues that good percussionists like challenges and will strive to do this with a high degree of accuracy, and he’s probably right. Percussionists generally are very receptive to new music and rhythmic challenges, and so I think they’ll be happy with this one.

I’m also in the early stages of writing a piece for a chamber ensemble and most of the music is already improvised, so it’s just a matter of notating and arranging it. But that’s laborious and sometimes even boring, so two rhythmic spaces was a nice diversion.