|Compositions||Recordings||Performances||Bio / CV||Instruments||Contact||Home|
lead / Platinum
Listen to Excerpts:
Performed by Sole Nero: Jessica Johnson, piano and Anthony Di Sanza, percussion.
View the Scores:
Instrumentation for Percussionist:
lead: Bass Drum, Chinese Tom, Wood Block (large), Glass Wind Chimes, Tamtam (large), Chinese Opera Gong, Sizzle Cymbal, Crash Cymbal (medium), Crash Cymbal (small)
Platinum: 2 Tom Toms (medium and large), 2 Congas, Bongos, Cowbell (large), 3 Woodblocks (medium, small and piccolo), Almglocken (small), Splash Cymbal, Crash Cymbal (small, bright), 2 Chinese Cymbals (small, very small), High Hat, Tambourine (with head), Crasher, Sleigh Bells, Triangle (medium)
Triangle: Here is Tony Di Sanza's solution to playing the triangle parts while holding mallets: "I built a mechanism that suspended the triangle, and then had the beater suspended below the triangle on vacuum belts between two rods. The whole thing attached to a rack. This allowed me to play the triangle with the mallets that I was holding by actuating the triangle beater, which in turn struck the triangle."
Sleigh Bells: It's best to use bells that are attached to a piece of leather or cloth rather than ones that are attached to a rigid handle. Suspend the leather/cloth such that the bells are facing away from you, and strike the back of the leather/cloth with the mallet. For the recording by Sole Nero, Tony Di Sanza sewed individual bells of various sizes to a piece of felt or carpet, and this worked quite well. Sleigh bells are also called for in Dusting the Connecting Link, and I believe that for the recording Andrew Spencer used one of those sets of bells that is meant to strap around the ankle. The main thing to remember is that it is better to strike the back of the material to which the bells are attached rather than to strike the bells themselves.
I began composing lead after having finished Platinum. I wanted it to provide a contrast to Platinum's rhythmic vitality, so I asked myself what would happen if I wrote music without relying on rhythm and counting as my primary devices. This led to a great deal of brooding and questioning, and resulted in music with an inert heaviness.
Platinum, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air. It was the first piece I had written after working for two years on a concerto for percussion, and it came out as an extended burst of restless, rhythmic energy. The title represents images of bright, polished surfaces; hard, crisp edges; and the clear, ringing sound of metal that came to mind when reflecting on the music.