Deep Time and Ceaseless Motion

Complete Work Title: 

Deep Time and Ceaseless Motion


Performance Medium: 

Percussion ensemble (five to ten players)


Duration: 

variable (c.7:00-12:00)


Date Composed: 

October 1982


Performance Information: 

This is an indeterminate score that utilizes graphic notation.


Performance History: 
  • 22 October 2018; James Madison University Concert Hall (Harrisonburg, VA) — JMU Contemporary Music Festival
  • 17 October 2018; James Madison University Concert Hall (Harrisonburg, VA)

    Casey Cangelosi, JMU Percussion Ensemble

  • 29 May 1984; Citrus College (Azusa, CA)
  • 2 December 1982; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Pomona, CA) [premiere]

    Joseph Klein, Kellogg Percussion Ensemble


Program Notes: 

Composed in 1982, Deep Time and Ceaseless Motion is an indeterminate work for percussion ensemble, comprised of six contrasting sections that are cued by a recurring 4-note motive in the chimes. The score incorporates graphic notation, allowing the performers to freely interpret the images and symbols in a series of short group improvisations. The title of the work is derived from a phrase in John McPhee’s book Basin and Range (1981), used to characterize the dual phenomena of plate tectonics—“the two great revolutions of geology,” according to scientist Stephen Jay Gould—and serves as an intriguing metaphor for this work.