Play the first minute of Secrets,
as performed by Bruce Hamilton, Andy Ditzler, Stephen Belans, P. Edwin Surowiak, Jamey Reid, and Brian Mount on percussion, with David Heuser conducting.
Composer: David Heuser Instrumentation: Percussion Sextet (crotales, vibraphone, chimes, three triangles, three gongs, four cymbals, and four brake drums) Year Composed: 1990 Duration: 6 minutes Pages (score): 19
USF Percussion Ensemble, Robert McCormick, conductor (November, 1996)
University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble, Mark Dorr, director (May, 1992)
Excerpts from the February 1997 issue of Percussive Notes (the newsletter of the Percussive Arts Society). Review by Lisa Rogers.
"In this piece, timbre is very important; therefore, the composer has been specific about instrumentation, mallet choices and ╬effect' sounds such as a ╬bowed' crotale. As in Totem, rhythmic precision between parts is necessary for a steady tempo throughout."
On the whole set (also includes Totem and The Way of the Animal Powers):
"All three of Heuser's works would be appropriate for college-level or professional players. Heuser is tireless in his experimentation with sounds and timbres; therefore Totem, Secrets, and The Way of the Animal Powers are worthwhile for performers and audiences alike."
Secrets was written in April and June of 1989. It is for six percussionists, all playing metal instruments. I wanted to create a unified percussion ensemble where the kinds of instruments played by the group would be made of the same material. Secrets is part of a trio of percussion sextets which operate under this principle.
Musically the piece deals with issues of mythology and ritual, which have been influencing my music from time to time for a while. I find these influences difficult to portray in strictly instrumental works, particularly since I wish also to remain true to other artistic instincts which I think are important (and perhaps necessary) for my music. That being said, writing for percussion gives one probably the easiest ensemble with which to evoke feelings of ritual, mythology and all their correlating concepts.
Note: Secrets can be performed separately or as part of the above mentioned trio of percussion sextets. If all three are played, the order of the pieces is Totem, Secrets, and The Way of the Animal Powers.
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