fragile twisted inharmonic (2014)




2 Saxes (1: sop / 2: sop & bari), Trombone, Piano, Percussion, & Electric Guitar
[Perc: C4-C5 Almglocken, A4 Crotale, E4 Thai Gong & bucket of water, Piccolo Snare Drum, Small Splash Cymbal, Floor tom, mounted 18" Kick Drum, & trashy, semi-resonant metal played w/ kick pedal]


Ensemble Klang / 13 September 2014 / Gaudeamus Muziekweek / TivoliVredenburg, Cloud Nine, Utrecht, Netherlands


commissioned by Ensemble Klang

fragile twisted inharmonic is a work exploring the sonic environment of a favorite album from my teenage years: Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile.

In order to determine what it was about this album that left such a strong impression, I spent several days re-immersing myself in the music. My first discovery was that it wasn't the melodies, grooves, forms, or lyrics that were so powerfully constructed, but rather the individual sounds themselves, brilliantly sculpted and combined by Trent Reznor and Alan Moulder. My second discovery was that most of these sounds fit into two basic categories. The first category consists of violent, loud sounds, where almost every instrument's signal is distorted so heavily it begins to approach noise. The second contains delicate, quieter sounds, with a focus on inharmonic instruments like piano, plucked strings, and pitched percussion, and their correspondingly unique tunings.

I contemplated deeply the ideas of distortion, noise, and inharmonicity, their sonic and conceptual implications, and their relationship to the performers and instruments that make up Ensemble Klang. Then I wrote some music.

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