Hymn 320 couples spoken text with percussion and electronics as a strategy for distorting, fragmenting, and correcting in a retroactive way the meaning of words of political activist Eugene Debs. The works considers the process of transformation of words into language – the emergence of meaning out of the mechanism of forming speech through contexts of phonetics and rhetoric. Underlying this process is a dialectic between stability (through noticeable pulse, steady tempo, low dynamic and palpable cadence) and change (through erratic shifts in tempo, dynamic outbursts, and timbral distortions via electronic transformation). This piece was written on commission for percussionists Daniel Kennedy and Michael McCurdy.
Performance by Daniel Kennedy and Michael McCurdy: