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Play the first 1:30 of Carnivore
from a live performance.
Composer: David Heuser
Instrumentation: amplified piano, synthesizer, electric guitar, electric bass, 2 percussion
Year Composed: 1994
Duration: 7 minutes
Pages (score): 40
Cost: Purchase: $30.00
- Percussion 1: Drum set consisting of: Bass Drum, High-Hat, Suspended "Crash" Cymbal, Snare Drum, 3 Tom-toms (lowest drum is a Floor Tom) and 4 Brake Drums
- Percussion 2: 5 Temple Blocks, 4 Toms-toms, Cowbell
I have long wished to write a piece for "rock" instruments, primarily because those were the sounds I grew up listening to and for many years I played drums and keyboards in several bands. My intention in Carnivore was to write music that contained the energy of rock music and used sounds familiar to people who might not be used to symphonic instruments. There are no overt references to rock music in the piece; it is not a homage in that sense. The musical materials of Carnivore are typical of my other instrumental music, although many details came out of the use of this particular ensemble (especially the electric guitar). But like most rock music, this is a loud piece and I have also included some non-determinate areas which allow for some improvisation.
Formally the piece has a brief introduction followed by four parts. The first section is a gradual crescendo where the texture builds from a single cowbell to a complex cacophony. The crescendo is not without interruptions. These interruptions foreshadow the second part of the work: a melody played by the entire ensemble. This is repeated with variation and climaxes into the "free", somewhat aleatoric section. Gradually this breaks down and after a transition by the percussion players, the last minute of the piece drives relentlessly to the end.
Carnivore was written in 1994. It is approximately seven minutes long.