Composer: Bruce Hamilton
Instrumentation: percussion duo, concert band and recorded sound
Picc, 2 fl, 2 Ob, 2 Bn, Eb Cl, 3Bb Cl, BassCl, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, 2 Tpt, 4 Horns, 2 Trb, Euph, Tuba, DB, 2 Solo Perc, Timp, 5 Section Perc
Year Composed: 2016
Duration: 14 minutes
Cost: Purchase: $75.00 digital files; $150.00 packaged
Double Concerto was commissioned by INVERSE Percussion Project and completed in 2016. As with most concerti, the piece is largely built around the dynamic interplay between well-defined musical forces.The two percussion soloists sometimes play in unison, sometimes play in a complimentary fashion, and sometimes are dueling. The soloists have similar relationships with the large ensemble, often forming alliances and opposition with various instrumental sub-groups. Finally, there is a similar range of interplay between the performers and the recorded music.
In many sections the gamut of sounding forces is treated as a single organism, but often one with internal dialogues. As with many of my works, there’s an interest in the contrast between unison rhythm and gesture versus polyrhythmic phrases and textures. This coming-together/splitting-apart dichotomy plays out on multiple levels, within phrases and between large sections.
Likewise there are contrasting pitch languages at play, ranging from more-or-less tonal centric to rather dissonant and cloudy, though there is usually an emphasis on certain core sonorities, some of which relate to the harmonic series and at times require microtonal elements.
The concerto presents a number of contrasting textural environments, some driving with pulse, some primarily gestural, some presenting complex streams of sound, and others focused around drones. These settings provide the formal framework for recurring musical themes and ideas that unify the work as a whole.
The pre-recorded sound includes detuned doublings of instrumental parts, as well as textures and punctuations that introduce surreal elements into the mix.
Special thanks to the Mister Jean-Claude Braun and the Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale of Luxembourg for the premiere performance in 2017, and to Luc Hemmer and Bernard Grodos for initiating the project.