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(2010) for glockenspiel (1-4 players) and amplified snow, 10’

instrumentation: one to four glockenspiel (1-4 players) + amplified snow + optional electronic track


In Syntax from Snow, a performer plays the bells with one hand and the snow with another hand. The performer plays these two sounds as one instrument and each note on the bells corresponds to a gesture in the snow. In this way the notation extends the syntactical musical structure to the snow itself. Like a snow drift, the musical form also uses a "drifting" approach in which the pitches from each cycle of the harmonic process persist in the present and are shaped by new input. For people and animals in the north, the sound of snow can tell them the year, month, day and time of day. It can tell about the present and past weather conditions. It can tell them where they are and where other things are in relation to them. It can tell about the contours of the landscape, the plants and the wildlife in the area. It can even tell about the history and the state of those animals and plants, and the condition of oneself in the environment. A well-trained northern listener can cross a snowy terrain and tell all this just from the sound of snow.

Syntax of Snow (2010)

  • Performance materials include a PDF score.

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