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solo percussion and chamber orchestra: flute (dbl. alto flute), flute (dbl. piccolo), oboe, English horn, Bb clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 Bb trumpets, trombone, 2 percussion, strings (33221). Solo percussion part requires an extended drumset, including triangle, ribbon crasher, hi-hat, china cymbal, 2 splash cymbals, 2 crash cymbals (suspended), 3 tam-tams, wood block, 2 snare drums, 6 tom-toms, 2 bass drums (w/pedal).
to Heidi, Gabriel, and Maxwell
March - June 1994; August - October 1995
Christopher Deane, percussion; UNT student ensemble; Joseph Klein, conductor
Pathways is a series of works featuring a variety of solo instruments with a single, fixed orchestral accompaniment. Versions for trombone (Opposing Forces), percussion (Revolution), and soprano saxophone (Interior Shadows) have been completed to date, exploring the distinct relationship between each soloist and the ensemble. The conceptual metaphor for Pathways is that of a traveler: though a single road may be taken by different individuals, the various experiences and responses to a particular environment may vary substantially with each. Here, the orchestra serves as a monolithic sonic landscape through which the various soloists traverse. Structural models used in Pathways are inspired by natural phenomena, manifested in mathematical sequences, fractals, and chaotic/entropic processes.
The second in the series, Pathways: Revolution was composed for Daniel Hostetler, and was supported in part by a grant from the Jerome Foundation through the Minnesota Composers Forum Composer Commissioning Program. The primary impetus behind this version was the Los Angeles riots of 1992, as reflected in the confrontational character of the solo percussion part: here the soloist acts as aggressor, responding to the orchestra with fury throughout. The work is in four movements, each of which is named for the time and location of a potential outbreak of violent activity in the Los Angeles area. In Fairfax, 5:38 am. Tuesday., the soloist begins unobtrusively, gradually emerging to wage an all-out assault upon the orchestra; the movement closes with a series of explosive attacks from the soloist as the orchestral accompaniment eventually breaks down. Cahuenga, 11:57 pm. Friday. opens with a confrontation between the orchestral percussion and the soloist, the latter inevitably overtaking only to contend with the brass. Following this opening onslaught, the percussion becomes uncharacteristically passive, acting in concord with the orchestra for the remainder of the movement. Sepulveda, 3:14 pm. Sunday. begins quietly, gradually building in intensity throughout; here the soloist reacts to the orchestra, culminating in an aggressive exchange between the soloist and orchestral bass drum. In Lankershim, 10:24 am. Wednesday., a violent flourish in the solo percussion gives way to a placid yet brief orchestral introduction. The remainder of the movement engages the entire orchestra in contention with the furious moto perpetuo of the solo percussion. Even as the forces relent at the conclusion of the work, there remains an atmosphere of unrest and discontent. Pathways: Revolution is in no way intended as a social or political manifesto, but rather as a response to the vivid images and profound consequences of such domestic social strife.
The Pathways series is dedicated to my wife, Heidi, and my sons, Gabriel and Maxwell, and was supported by a CCP Grant from the American Composers Forum (funded by the Jerome Foundation) and a faculty research grant from the University of North Texas. It was first performed at UNT by percussionist Christopher Deane on 18 March 2014.