Pitch-Fork/Steel Recitative (15’00)
About this Work
Pitch-Fork is the first of two movements for percussion duo written for the Proper Glue Duo, composed of Melanie and Steve Sehman. The idea behind Pitch-Fork is simple: The piece begins with a set of six almglocken in the center, whose pitches (being intervalically symmetrical) gradually drop off from the center outward. As they do, other instruments, placed around the ensemble enter according to their material and type–first unpitched metals, then woodblocks, toms, and finally bass drum back in the center. Thus, as the material unfolds, the percussionists visually fork outward from the center.
This strategy of forking also makes its way into the material itself. Durational rows were constructed to govern the pitch succession, and these rows were subject to interversion, a serial process used by Messiaen and Nono whereby the row is manipulated from the center outwards. Toward the end, an eerie solo for waterphone enters, a precursor to an extended solo used in the second movement, before ending at a breakneck pace in the center with almglocken and bass drum.
The second movement, Steel Recitative, is like a commentary on the first, a reworking of the same material but from a completely different angle. It is soft, meditative, introspective, a foil to the intense activity of the first. As such, it focuses more on the metal percussion than any others, though the bass drum returns insistently, if unsteadily, throughout the piece.
PARTS ARE AVAILABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE COMPOSER.