Commissioned by The Bowdoin International Music Festival for its 50th Anniversary season
Premiere: August 6, 2014, Bowdoin, Maine. Performed by percussionists Luke Rinderknecht, Christina Manceor, and Tony Guarino.
Duration: 15 minutes
The Voices Inside My Head is a zany, wild piece featuring a variety of tom-toms, cymbals, glockenspiel, crotales, and small percussion instruments, as well as homemade and everyday objects such as metal salad bowls, empty soup cans, a kazoo, a saw, and newspaper. When I was approached by the Bowdoin Festival to write a work to commemorate its 50th Anniversary season, I wanted to pen a work that celebrated the creative imagination as well as the goofiness of making music.
The work that resulted acknowledged some of the voices inside my head – musical tidbits I was thinking about at the time that I wanted to share. Those voices comprise the different sections of the piece, and the musical segments collide in a fiery denouement at the end. The sections are: “Ethereal Birdsong,” featuring birdlike calls with glassy high-pitched textures; “Parlando,” a groovy rhythmic section featuring a variety of unpitched percussion; “Voodooish,” comprising the grainy textures of maracas and tambourine; “Temple Chant,” simulating the setting of an old temple with temple blocks, musical saw, and kazoo for the chant, and tom-toms to provide rhythmic interest; an extensive ripping paper section, in which the three percussionists coordinate rhythms using sheets of newspaper; and finally, “The Beginning of The End,” in which the various sections intermix and run into each other, culminating in a schizophrenic and cacophonous final climax that brings the work to an exciting close.
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