two thoughts

for percussion ensemble, five players.

moderately difficult. First movement requires 5 triangles of different pitch, low to high. Second mvmt. requires 5 temple blocks, 5 toms (low to high), 5 almglocken (low to high), 5 cymbals (low to high), a guiro, and 5 police whistle (if you can also pitch these low to high, all the better).

ca. 8'


In a previous life, I directed the elementary band programs in five elementary schools in my home town. One of those schools had a veritable menagerie of triangles in the percussion closet. I, of course, had to check them all out, enthralled by the variety of sounds available from a simple metal rod bent into a convenient shape. I suspect that only percussionists (and a few nutty composers) get to really hear how complex a sound the triangle actually makes. When you add the option of muting the triangle with the hand, there is a wide array of "pings" and "clanks" at one's disposal. After that discovery in the percussion closet, writing a piece for triangles was inevitable. Realizing that there's only so long one can listen to triangles, I wrote another movement to complement it, with all the bells and whistles. Literally.

The first movement, "push me, pull you" taken from Dr. Doolittle, is a hint at the form of the movement. For the second movement, I took the first five measures of the first movement as a theme, which then gets developed in a completely different instrumental and formal environment. From five triangles, the instrumentation expands to five temple blocks, five toms, five almglocken (Swiss cow bells), five cymbals, and a guiro. Each player is also equipped with a police whistle. "Same difference" is a phrase that I heard a lot as a kid, often truncated to "same diff." It was usually uttered in a slightly exasperated tone, because it meant that whomever you were talking to was trying to argue with you, even though you both were really talking about the same thing. No matter how much the theme gets stretched, shrunk, turned upside-down, or backwards in the second movement, it all is still the same theme.

perc 1, mvmt. 1
perc 1, mvmt. 2
perc 2, mvmt. 1
perc 2, mvmt. 2
perc 3, mvmt. 1
perc 3, mvmt. 2
perc 4, mvmt. 1
perc 4, mvmt. 2
perc 5, mvmt. 1
perc 5 mvmt. 2

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