Trace Elements

Two pianos and two percussion
Pianos 1 & 2
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))
Duration: 9:45
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

View Score | Purchase Music

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 and recorded by Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion (Telos TLS 227). I am grateful to the American Embassy for their assistance with our collaboration.

Press Quote:
“… It’s a very fun 10 minutes, and the ensemble – especially percussionists Buchheim and Weisman – do an excellent job of making the concentrated energy of the piece heard and felt on the recording…” —Tempo, 12/2018,  (Cambridge University Press), by Max Erwin

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard