WRITTEN ON WOOD

Composer: 

Year Authored (or revised): 

2000

Instrumentation : 

pf, perc

Duration (min): 

9

Composer’s note:
Written on Wood is inspired by the sound of struck wood. Over time, sounds which are relatively pitched begin to reveal specific pitch characteristics. The piece plays out as a ritual game between the percussionist and her pianist partner, becoming more and more dancey and careening in its athleticism. A basic rhythmic motive predominates throughout the piece---a series of longer values ending with a quick upward swoop of two short notes. In addition, a slightly silly little tune emerges near the end to add to the carnival atmosphere.

Premiered by Eric Poland, percussion, and James Johnston, piano, of Fireworks
(Brian Coughlin, director); June 3, 2006, Tenri Cultural Institute, NYC;

Instrumentation:
Percussion:

Station #1: 2 Mounted Woodblocks *(Mtd. Wdblks.)
2 Mounted Claves* (Mtd. Cl.)
Rack of 5 Woodblocks (Wdblks.)
Rack of 5 Temple Blocks (Tmpl. Blks.)
*In each case, a pair of woodblocks/claves are mounted on single stand so that one is above another, with a gap in between which allows for a trill with a single mallet between them

Station #2: Anklung (one octave, C-C)
Rack of 4 Temple Blocks (Tmpl. Blks.)**
Xylophone(Xyl.)
Portable woodblock
**Placed in front of xylophone so as to allow simultaneous performance in mm. 79-110
Station #3: 3 Slit Log-Drums (Lg. Drms)*** Marimba (Mar.).
*** Using 5 of 6 possible sounds (arranged high-low on 5 spaces of staff)
Placed on table to allow simultaneous performance with marimba in mm. 142-144

Pianist:
Piano (played on both closed keyboard lid with knuckles, and “normally” on keyboard
(On a table adjacent to piano):
2 Sandpaper Blocks (Sndpr.)
2 Castanets (Cast.) [high/low, mounted on flat board]
2 Maracas (Mrcs.) [high/low]
Guiro
Bamboo Wind Chimes (W.Ch.)
2 Aboriginal Sticks (Abor. Sticks)
Vibraslap (Vbslp.)
Portable Woodblock
Crackmar *)
*) may be substituted by slapstick

Mallets:
Mallet changes can be kept to a minimum. Basically, harder rubber mallets should be used up to m.115, when softer marimba mallets are taken up. In addition, in the first half of piece, a triangle beater is used briefly for a trill on mounted claves (as well as stick end of one mallet with mounted woodblocks).

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