Edmund Scott Miller, composer

musicmiller.com

Evolution — for multiple percussion trio

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This challenging piece was written for and dedicated to a favorite group of percussionists lovingly dubbed the ‘Three Boss Gentlemen.’ It has yet to see a public performance, though it was recorded in December 2011 by the Gentlemen themselves, Alec Dube, Torrell Moss, and Sean Perham. Special thanks also to Tim Bausch for recording their performance.

Program Note:

This composition is constructed organically with short motives and rhythmic fragments. There are three main sections, each marked by a distinct tempo and prominent timbre. Throughout the piece new sounds are formed through the amalgamation of different timbres. Each family of percussion instruments is represented by its most simple or pure sound: the woodblocks for wood; the bell of a cymbal for metal; and a tenor drum for skins. The first major section deals mostly with the timbral development of the skins and wood instruments. The second major section begins by developing metal sounds alone and then adds in the other timbres until they have evolved into a climax involving the loudest instrument in each family: the slapstick, brake drum, and bass drum, respectively. The third section is the arrival point and is marked by a sonorous transformation of the cacophony that came before. Here, all of the pitched percussion instruments take over and make melodic sense of the rhythmic and gestural material. The main motives are sorted out. The composition’s destination has been reached and the understated conclusion reminds us where it all came from.

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