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Emerging Landscapes (1997)
for percussion solo
Duration ca. 12’

SMMP No. 111

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Premiere performance: Terry Longshore, at Warren Studios, UCSD, May 29, 1997

Emerging Landscapes, for percussion solo, was composed in 1997 for Terry Longshore, whose approach towards his instruments played an important role in informing the piece. In particular, because of Longshore’s expertise in tabla I tried to incorporate opportunities for tabla techniques into the work. The extent to which these opportunities are realized is at the discretion of the performer and depends upon his or her particular approach to the cadenza, an improvisational passage toward the end of the piece.

In Emerging Landscapes, four lines of text (see below) motivate the activity in the score, each line having its own unique sensibility. Each line, too, is given its own instrument or instrumental pair from the percussion setup as a declamatory medium – we hear the iterative shaping of the text as each instrument is introduced. The resources of the setup (a small one by most standards) and the text is the extent of the materials used; the music lives in the interplay between them. Thus, Emerging Landscapes is less an event-oriented work than a large scale meditation on six percussion instruments, four lines of text, and multiple interactions.

points that merge into a line
as lightning strikes
like an emerging landscape
where waves once resisted the shor
e