Composer note: string of pearls
evolved out of a commission from a consortium of amazing percussionists, most of whom I have had the honor of working with closely over the years. I had the idea to make this piece out of a series of little bursts of energy, with tiny pauses in between, accumulating in power and density. After I finished the music I realized that the form of the piece resembled a string of pearls short, exciting, shiny moments strung together in a continuous line.
When I started composing string of pearls
I struggled for a while with the question of how to leave enough room for each of these players to make the piece his own. My solution was to give very little instruction on how to shape the performance. All the notes and rhythms are written down quite specifically but there are no dynamic markings, no accents, no crescendi, etc., and the players are instructed to shape each phrase ad lib. One performance may be all loud, or all quiet, or everything in between. It is my hope that by being vague with the performance instructions each of these incredible performers will find his own, unique version of the piece.string of pearls
is dedicated, in love and friendship, to Martin Bresnick, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
Interview with and performance by Adam Sliwinski on VicFirth.com