for percussion duo (one pair of maracas each), electronic playback (pre-recorded maracas)
duration: 9 minutes
Commissioned / premiered by:
Matthew Gold & I-Jen Fang, percussion
September 13, 2014, as part of the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival at The Southern Cafe and Music Hall, Charlottesville, VA
About the work:
Hollows is entirely constructed of one kind of material: crossing lines of crescendoing and decrescendoing pulses. On these pulses, the two players move through a series of different but related techniques on the maracas, from soft circular rolls to up-and-down shakes, to more precise shakes with specific offbeat enunciations, to a kind of rotating wrist roll that produces four distinct pulses with each shake.
The effect is ever-accumulating crisp white noise, increasingly organized and played with greater and greater intensity. There are no other structures to listen for, for no new material enters. Nothing contrasts with anything else. Without expectation and absent any change or development one might recognize as musical, one is left with nothing to do but listen, fully and deeply, ensconced in only the moment, not comparing what is to what came before, or anticipating what will come next. Then, abruptly, it is over, and in the immediate silence your ears ring madly and insistently. Over the course of the piece, they have been adjusting themselves to the ever-increasing torrent of noise, and in the sudden silence their compensatory actions ring out loudly, though only inside your own head.