As promised, here is the framework for all the complaining you will enjoy between now and June.
Last summer, on the last night of GHP I think, Dr. Ryan Smith—our percussion teacher—asked all the composers on the music staff to write a piece for percussion ensemble to be played in 2012. He was generous enough to include me in that request; I was actually surprised and gratified. To my protestations that I don’t know how to write for percussion, he merely pooh-poohed me. (Perhaps he was thinking of my “Dance for Double Bass Duo and Marimba”?)
I didn’t bother thinking about it until after the new year—I had other things to deal with, after all. Still, if I’m going to do this I need to start now, so while driving up and down I-85 I began thinking about what I might do. I’m a lot more comfortable with the tuned percussion—I really don’t know how to write for all the really interesting things you can bang on—so I began planning on marimbas.
And because I’m radical like that, I thought I might include some low strings, some cellos, double basses.
So at the moment, the ensemble is for two marimbas, a vibraphone, a djembe, and bongos, plus two cellos and two double basses.
The working title is “Earth Dance.” I’m pretending it’s the third movement in a suite called Elemental Dances: Fire/Water/Earth/Air. We’ll see how that goes, of course.
Last night’s work was just trying to create crap, and I largely succeeded. There was one theme that was attractive, but I’m going for ponderous/savage/dark, so it may not work.
More as it fails to develop.