This is a live performance of one of the few explicitly programmatic multiple percussion (set-up) pieces in the repertoire. The first section represents an "evil" spirit depicted by dense drumming and sharp wooden attacks. After some ebb and flow of different shades of darkness, a pure piercing light (represented by the crotale interjections at 5:32) challenges the evil spirit at the height of its possession. An ambiguous section follows the maraca roll, where the evil spirit desperately tries to retain supremacy in opposition to a pure, metallic sound world. Intense vocalizations and isolated strikes finally acquiesce to a stoic and soothing javanese gong at 6:19. From here on out the music meanders in microtones around the B natural crotale. I feel that these pitches represent the non-linear and slightly uncomfortable process of healing, notwithstanding flashbacks to an earlier insidious spirit. The powerful gong continues to sooth and coax the music towards serenity. Eventually, the pitch settles around the focused crotale. Goodness has been found. ...I've done different approaches to performing this piece. The performer might choose to make the sound worlds or rhythmic interpretation as disparate as possible to emphasize a black and white "good vs. evil" . However, James Wood writes very similar, triplet syncopations in both sections of the piece. Moreover, these cut rhythms always revolve around low sustain sounds. In the first section, the resonant drums provide a bed of sound, and in the second section, the gong serves as a foundation for the glockenspiel. Because the two musics function is the same way, is one side inherently “evil” and the other unequivocally “good” ? Is this labeling dependent on our prejudice of these sound worlds? Do the dirty words come out clean in a “good" voice and is an “evil” voice’s best attempt at peace a futile effort?
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