One Far Noise

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One Far Noise

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Scoring
solo tam-tam and electronics
Instrumentation

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Alternate Title

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Year Authored (or revised)
Duration (min)
12
Movements

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Detail

Description

Composer's Note:

The writings of Thomas Merton have inspired me for many years. One line from his journals in particular caught my attention: "Very cold, very silent, when I was out during meditation--only a distant train--to have the only one far noise is not equivalent to silence." The great Italian percussionist Simone Mancuso had been waiting for me to write him a solo percussion piece and, after reading this, I knew I'd found the source of inspiration.  A walk in the Odenwald (near Heidelberg Germany) between the Philosophenweg and the Heiligenberg, made possible all the source material: a beautiful concert of birds singing, which I recorded on my phone. You hear that at the end of the piece, a duet between those birds and the tamtam. All the sounds that come before find their origins in what I heard during that walk with one exception: early mornings in Heidelberg, as I composed at my desk, looking out the window from the university guest house with a perfect view of the Königstuhl, I was daily serenaded by birds, music I included spontaneously as I composed. The original idea behind the piece, intentionally using a "noisy" instrument like the tamtam, was that "one far noise," built up through addition and repetition, could become quite loud, even overpowering, and not necessarily a positive thing. But Heidelberg altered that idea dramatically, thanks to its natural beauty and so many memories I have of all the time I've spent there and my many dear friends.  The romantic spirit I first felt in Heidelberg returned, and those birds--emerging as they do from the tamtam's chaotic din--remain at the end: singing, and inviting us to sing along.

Comments

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First Perfomance
Simone Mancuso, percussion; German American Institute (DAI) in Heidelberg Germany, July 19, 2016.
Recording

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Text Language - Non English

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Text Source/Author

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Ensemble Type
solo instrument(s) +audio or video playback
Genre/Theme

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Instrument
Percussion

Files & Media

Audio
One Far Noise (US Premiere).mp3
Audio file
Video

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Sample Pages

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