Slender Beams of Solid Rhythm

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Dave Hollinden

General Info

Year: 1991
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan
Cost: Score and Parts - $26.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Multiple Percussion: Four graduated tom toms, small bass drum, log drum, two wood blocks, two temple blocks, three cowbells, brake drum, bell plate, metal pipe, tambourine, guiro, crash cymbal, opera gong, maracas

Program Notes

One of the most engaging aspects of music for me is rhythm. My fixation with numbers attracts me to complex rhythms with intricate counting while my history with rock music draws me toward the physical energy of drumming and popular beats. I am especially attracted to music in which I become so engaged by the rhythm that a feeling of clarity or freedom emerges. In Slender Beams I picture the mental state of the performer becoming so intensely focused on counting, changing meters and manipulating themes that it converges into a beam, and picture the traveling of that beam through space as representing the feeling of freedom. Thus the full title, as printed in the score, reads "Focusing your awareness into . . . Slender Beams of Solid Rhythm."

The piece is formed around three of these journeys into focused awareness, each based on an obsessive rhythmic treatment of a few short motives: the opening passage on a single drum, a central section for maracas, and the closing passage for two drums. The driving rhythms and minimal instrumentation of these sections are contrasted with spacious, abstract, non-metered interludes using a wide variety of exotic timbres.[1]

Notes on the Setup
Take care to make your setup as compact as possible. The four tom-toms should be right next to each other. Rather than leave space between the toms for the cowbells, raise the cowbells a bit and position them slightly over the top of the toms. The brake drum, bell plate, pipe, tambourine, and guiro should be as close together as possible on a small table next to the highest tom. Similarly, the log drum, wood blocks and temple blocks should be as close together as possible on a small table next to the lowest tom. Curve the whole setup in an arc so that you can reach the lowest and highest instruments simultaneously, such as when you need to play the guiro and log drum together in the first Ritualistic section (page 3, line 6). Place the bass drum to the left of the log drum, and place the cymbal and opera gong within reach as desired. (Although I recommend small tables, there may be stands that work just as well.)[2]



Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

Kwang Won Kim, Seoul Fine Arts Center, South Korea, 2002
Miho Takekawa, Kunitachi College of Music, Toyko, Japan, 1997
Northwest Percussion Festival, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 1994
Encuentros de Percusion, Spain, 1992

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

A Different Drummer - Multiple Percussion
Alchemy - Percussion Duo
Boundary Conditions - Multiple Percussion; String Quartet
Cold Pressed - Multiple Percussion
Dusting the Connecting Link - Multiple Percussion
Flux - Marimba; Flute; Clarinet; Alto Saxophone
Immersion - Percussion Quartet; Saxophone Quartet
In Time to Come - Marimba; Alto Saxophone
Lead - Multiple Percussion; Piano
Of Wind and Water - Marimba
Percussion Quartet No. 2 (Hollinden) - Percussion Quartet
Platinum - Multiple Percussion; Piano
Reckless - Percussion Octet
Release (Hollinden) - Percussion Octet
Six Ideas for Snare, Bass, and Cymbal - Multiple Percussion
Slender Beams of Solid Rhythm - Multiple Percussion
Surface Tension - Percussion Duo
The Whole Toy Laid Down - Percussion Quartet
what clarity? (with perc. ens. version) - Multiple Percussion; Percussion Ensemble (12)
what clarity? (with strings version) - Multiple Percussion; Orchestra

Additional Resources