odd time signatures

Manic Perceptions

There have been moments as Sticks’ mom where I’ve been exasperated, frustrated, gratified, concerned, proud, and amazed. But never speechless, at least, until today. Never.

I knew there was a surprise on today’s percussion ensemble program, because I’d been given a heads-up in advance that an original piece would be on the program, one that he composed. But even with that, I had no idea of what to expect.

Now I’m the mom, and I’m supposed to love everything he does (and I do). But seriously, the kid is not even 19 yet, and I was completely floored that this piece flowed out of some creative place that he’s managed to tap into already. Experienced listeners and composers may find areas to critique, but for this mom, it’s perfection.

The ensemble itself is something he’s been doing for four or five years during the summer. The director, Tina Curtis, is a classically trained percussionist. Every summer she puts together a group of young drummers and percussionists with some pretty progressive music. They’ve performed John Cage and contemporary performers as well. This piece is a complete departure from anything I’ve ever posted of his. To me, it’s incredible. I hope it is to you, too.

This is the intro he wrote for Tina to read:

Manic Perceptions is a project that I started in the latter half of
the school year. In my past attempts at composition I know that my
Achilles heel has been trying to maintain a single idea and develop
it. So this time around I figured I would try something new by
connecting my different ideas without trying to force anything. The
last movement of the piece encompasses this idea by incorporating many
different ideas at once such as harmony, resolution, and dissonance.
I consider the last few notes as my signature on the page.

I dedicate this piece to my parents for all their support and belief
in my abilities over the years.

[audio:manic-perceptions.mp3]

Enjoy.

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