My primary interest in writing this piece was to open a particular color palette that connected the distinct qualities of each instrument by placing them within an extremely soft dynamic range. There is grittiness to the soft rubbing together of pebbles, for example, that might only be related to the sharp drawing of wood against metal by virtue of the atmosphere in which such dissonant structures may be heard alongside the hushed resonance of bells. For me, the timbres of these particular instruments yield a certain visceral urgency when played softly, as if only the most important components of their timbres are palatable when the listener attenuates his or her ear to this dynamic level (sometimes bordering on an “impure” silence of a concert environment). By pulling away from certain rhetorical devices of climactic, virtuosic, narrative structures, perhaps a new type of virtuosity may be achieved – one of a subtlety of attention.
Performance by TimeTable Percussion Trio: