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(2009) for percussion quintet and electro-acoustics, 33’


No. 1, Water (Ice) instrumentation: amplified container of water + water tubes + water rattles + large piece of ice performed with heat, + fixed media electronic playback.


No. 2, Wood (Pitch) instrumentation: six wood blocks, marimba, vibraphone, three tuned log drums, 3 timpani, bowed glock or crotales, sticks and branches + fixed media electronic playback.


No. 3, Stone (Sand) instrumentation: sand panels, sand blocks, assorted stones + fixed media electronic playback.


No. 4, Metal (Noise), instrumentation: three cymbals, high-hat, piano (played as a percussion instrument using keyboard), vibraphone, bass drum, tinfoil preparations of all instruments + fixed media electronic playback.


No. 5, Air (Breath), instrumentation: vocal percussion, amplified fan performed with feathers sticks and paper, + fixed media electronic playback.


No. 6, Skin (Bones), instrumentation: assorted small bones, eleven skin drums (different sizes), low bass drum prepared with small bones + fixed media electronic playback.


The “Six Ecoacoustic Quintets” for percussion quintet express elemental human relationships with the environ- ment through music. These pieces express the environmental, physical, mental and spiritual complexities of human-nature dialectics. As humans affect and control the natural environment, the changes we create reflect back onto our species’ behavior, psyche and imagination. The Six Quintets set up elemental systems of tension that point to this abstraction: Water (ice), Wood (pitch), Stone (sand), Metal (noise), Air (breath), and Skin (bones). These movements progress from the outward material affects of our behavior (melting ice) to our body and breath as material.


The score sets four highly technical percussion parts with a fifth more free and less technical part. The fifth part is suitable for performance by a “special guest” of a percussion quartet such as another musician, or by a teacher working with a student percussion ensemble, or even by a dancer or theatrical performer.


The score also includes "Six Ambient Extensions", scores that expand the quintet into a larger ensemble, for example for additional musicians, remote telematic performance, or even audience participation.

Six Ecoacoustic Quintets (2009)

  • Performance materials include a PDF score and a Max software patch. 

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