Terpsichore

 for solo percussion and interactive electronic sounds, 1993, dur: 17 minutes

           Terpsichore  is a free, improvisatory exploration of percussive and electronic timbres.  Although most parameters of the piece are precisely controlled and notated, there is no metric pulse.  Instead there is considerable freedom for the percussionist to “time” events according to expressive and emotional involvement of the performance.

              My electronic works have generally been composed in the traditional "instrument and tape" format which, given the timing inflexibility of the tape, compromises the player.  Terpsichore  is one of a series of pieces in which I have begun to compose for "instrument and computer music accompaniment."  The computer will listen to the notes the performer plays or how loud the note was played and then respond according to the my instructions.   This creates a situation in which the performer has control over the events of the piece by his/her musical gestures (not by pressing foot pedals or other kinds of hardware controls). 

            In Greek mythology Terpsichore was the Muse of Dancing.  The word is loosely translated from Greek as “delight in dance.”  Considering the number of instruments involved, there is also a strong sense of the “choreography” necessary for the percussionist to perform the piece.



Harvey Price, percussion

   © Larry Nelson 2017