• Iktus Percussion, Charlotte New Music Festival 6/24/14 (No. 6)
• Quiet City featuring Iktus Percussion, NYC 11/2/13 (Nos. 3 & 6)
• Chamber Cartel, Atlanta, GA 4/25/12 (complete work)
• Terminus Ensemble, Atlanta, GA 3/04/12 (No. 6)
• Devil May Care Duo, Boston, MA, 6/21/10 (No. 2)
• Additional performances by DMC Duo: NYC, 6/23/10; Duluth, GA, 6/27/10; San Diego, CA, 1/18/11; San Diego, CA, 3/16/11; San Diego, CA, 3/17/11; Los Angeles, CA, 3/18/11; Seattle, WA, 3/20/11; Chicago, IL, 5/19/12
Mirror Universes is a series of six duets for percussion and melodic instrument. In each, the duo reads from the same score, which consists of short ideas scattered over two pages. The players proceed independently, so each idea will end up being played twice. The musical ideas attempt to highlight similarities between these dissimilar instruments.
Mirror Universes 1 for viola and vibraphone
Mirror Universes 2 for clarinet and multi-percussion
written for the Devil May Care Duo
recording on bandcamp.com
Mirror Universes 3 for trombone and vibraphone
Mirror Universes 4 for saxophone and multipercussion
Mirror Universes 5 for guitar and multipercussion
Mirror Universes 6 for vibraphone and multipercussion
Video of a performance of the complete cycle by Chamber Cartel:
Video of a performance of #3 and #6, by Quiet City:
Video of a performance of #6 alone, by Terminus Ensemble:
Video of a performance of #2 alone, by Devil May Care Duo:
(from a blog post about this): I wrote the first piece quickly for a now-disbanded duo, and wrote the second one for DMC Duo. After discussing it with Caleb Herron, I had the idea to write a few more. It's interesting to me that the remaining four were somewhat of a side project (written quickly during my first semester at UF), but represent a turning-point in my work that I was not aware of at the time.
Since I began composing 'for real' in 2004, I've gone through some rather distinct stages. The first featured an atonal pitch language and a concern with formal design (notably my exploration of poetic forms in Three Haiku and Tanka). The second stage, begun while studying in Belfast and continued while living in New Jersey, focused on indeterminacy in performance (good examples include Five Pieces for Laptop Quartet and Searching for Coincidences). I think the best way to characterize my current (third) stage is that I am focusing on simplicity and the materiality of instruments. I don't have recordings of these pieces to share yet, unfortunately!
The past two years I have been thinking very hard about what I value in music, which is primarily timbre, harmony, and the theatre of performance. So the Mirror Universes series ends up serving as a fascinating crossroads piece for me when I review my own work. In each of these pieces, the score directs players to mimic either the sounds or the method of playing the other instrument. In #1, the viola and vibraphone read the same score, but play a 9th apart, since the viola reads in alto clef and the vibraphone in treble. In #2, the clarinet plays multiphonics to emulate the inharmonic partials of gongs. In #3, the vibraphone plays short glissandi to reflect one of the most characteristic attributes of the trombone. There are many more examples (and surely many that I neglected to include in the scores themselves!).