Trace Elements

Perc 1 (2 toms (lo/hi), snare drum, 2 timbales (lo/hi), large gong, ride cymbal (18″) and bow, triangle)
Perc 2 (bass drum, 2 congas (lo, med), 2 bongos (lo/hi), ride cymbal (20″) and bow, 4 claves (lo to hi))
Pianos 1 & 2
Commission: Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion
Premiere: 12/09/14
Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion
Konzerthaus, Project USA – Teil II, Berlin, Germany
Image: James St. John, CC BY 2.0

Program Note:
The title, Trace Elements, refers to the chemical and biochemical meanings of the term and to my musical concept. In the former, trace elements  are found in nature, and are needed for the proper functioning of an organism; in the latter, the trace elements, critical to the structural functioning of the piece, become design elements whose charged motion is traced through the arc of their interactions. The title also refers to the quality of sonic tracing created through exploration of different qualities of resonance of both the piano and percussion instruments, and to the shadowing and exchanges that characterize the instrumental relationships. Trace Elements was commissioned by and is dedicated to Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion. I am grateful to the American Embassy for their assistance with our collaboration.


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