Non Sequitur Music

Rituals


Composer: Bruce Hamilton
Instrumentation: Solo Timpani
Year Composed: 1998
Duration: 10 minutes (5 movements)
Cost: Purchase: $15.00


Program Note:

Rituals, for solo timpani (four drums), was written in 1998 for Tim Adams. The piece consists of five short movements, each with a different character but harboring similar musical ideas. The first movement is a dramatic study in resonance and features a slow, steady pulse. The second uses only one tetrachord (Gb-C-F-Ab) throughout, shifting the harmony by emphasizing different notes as the music develops. An implied funk groove provides the basic underpinning for the third movement. The fourth features a melodic line (marked cantabile) framed by echoing glissandi. The last movement is mostly in a moto perpetuo style, with some sections in which notes get "caught in the machine," creating rhythmic and motivic variety (and havoc). All five movements explore dynamic shifts, muffling techniques, and timbral effects as extensions of musical gesture. Each movement has its virtuosic demands: I-shape and drama; II-finesse; III-groove; IV-pedaling; V-all of the above. The title refers to the sense of invocation which (to my ears) pervades much of the piece.


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