Pitch-Fork/Steel Recitative

Medium: Chamber

2 Perc

This unusual percussion duo, written for Melanie and Steven Sehman, is made up of two movements. In truth, they are more like two separate but related pieces, each based on the same material though with vastly different renderings. The first movement, ‘Pitch-Fork,’ is a play on words describing both the interversion serial process governing pitch/rhythmic decisions and the movement of the players onstage from the center outward, then back to the center. As the players move to the edges of the instrument setup, we hear a change in timbre from almglocken (center), to unpitched metals (middle/outside), to unpitched woods and skins (outside). In the middle of all this comes an unexpected waterphone solo.

‘Steel Recitative,’ like the first movement, begins with the almglocken, playing the exact same succession of pitches. This time, the progression is slower, more meditative. Most of the attention is on the central instruments. The brief waterphone solo from before is now extended into a long, fiery cadenza, as if the percussionist is trying to wrest a violin from the metal rods of the instrument.



Commissioned by

Melanie and Steven Sehman, Proper Glue Duo

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