Marimba, with Junk Perc. and Digital Audio
One Study One Summary is a work for solo percussionist and tape, and having been composed for Pedro Carneiro, takes advantage of the performer’s collection of ‘junk percussion’.
As the title suggests, it is cast in two movements, and while the work exhibits the ‘busy’ motoric textures for which Psathas is well-known, reflective, atmospheric textures predominate throughout.
One Study One Summary was commissioned by Pedro Carneiro with funding support from Creative New Zealand. Carneiro gave the premiere of the work in a concert of music by Xenakis and Psathas during the 2005 Rhythm Sticks Festival, London, on 16 July 2005.
'This two-movement work for solo percussionist is written for marimba, junk percussion and digital audio. The junk percussion includes such things as frying pans, metallic objects, salad bowls, a variety of cymbals and gongs, etc. The work requires a 5.0-octave instrument. One Study is very toccata-like with changing meters and quick dynamic contrasts, and requires a firm mastery of contemporary four-mallet techniques. One Summary is slower, more contemplative in nature, and exploits the more sonorous side of the marimba by using “super soft” and “soft” mallets at mp and p dynamic levels.
The junk percussion part in One Study is very interesting. It is carefully notated on what some refer to as a “timber staff” or “adapted keyboard notation.” It may be played live by several other percussionists using the specified instruments or “an alternative battery of instruments.” To this end, the audio CD includes short sound samples of each instrument to aid in finding appropriate alternatives. The third performance option is to use the digital audio that incorporates the recorded junk percussion sounds. In addition to the various audio tracks (with and without junk percussion), the CD also contains a reference mix of One Study One Summary, with both digital audio parts and a synthesizes version of the performer’s part. This would definitely be an exciting addition to any program regardless of the format chosen.'
John Baldwin, Percussive Notes, August, September 2009. / Partitions classique / Cuivres et percussions / Percussion / Promethean Editions Ltd