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for percussion sextet
duration: 13 minutes

Commissioned / premiered by:

the U.Va Percussion Ensemble & I-Jen Fang, director
premiered on April 22, 2014 at Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, VA

About the work:

Ringing/Rising comes out of a deep love of the richness and complexity of the sounds that both triangles and cymbals make, and of the way that these sounds evoke the complex and detailed sounds we encounter in the world around us. For me, the rolling suspended cymbals that open the piece evoke the sounds of wind, water, distant traffic or roaring engines. Bright, tolling triangles call to mind bells, wind chimes, alarms or pulsing machines.

In the wider world, these kinds of sounds are the result of innumerable smaller actions. The complex sound that we call “wind”, for example, might emerge from thousands of leaves flexing and striking each other as air moves through them. There is no “wind” except for the small actions of individual leaves. Ringing/Rising is an attempt to construct music that operates in this same way, though of course with far fewer moving parts. Each of the six players progresses independently through the same material, displaced in time from one another and performing on instruments that, though all technically the same, vary widely in the specifics of their sounds. The resultant sound slowly mutates, shifts and swells.