Cerulean: Double Percussion Concerto (2005)
for Two Solo Percussionists and Ensemble
- Different Purposes
- Different Porpoises
Cory Cousins and Mike Perdue, percussion; Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble; Walter Morales, conductor
Duration: 11.5 min.
Dedication: for Cory Cousins, Mike Perdue, and the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, Walter Morales, director and for Howard Stokar
Commission: Commissioned by the Carnegie Mellon School of Music
Publisher: Musik Fabrik
Cerulean: Double Percussion Concerto (2004) for two solo percussionists and ensemble was commissioned by the Carnegie Mellon School of Music for percussionists Cory Cousins, Mike Perdue, and the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, Walter Morales, director. The work is dedicated to them and to Howard Stokar. The work is inspired by the ocean, particularly its greatest depths.
The work is in two movements, played without break. The two movements explore the same musical material (a specific collection of twelve pitches) in two very different ways. In the first movement, the material is presented often in row forms—and harmonies derived from it. In the second movement, a more free approach is used to the material and it becomes more motivic and gestural.
The first movement, Different Purposes, is inspired by the vast diversity of deep-sea life. Musical objects interact with each other and ideas transform each other. Many of these deep-sea creatures live in very isolated and solitary environments at the ocean’s lowest points. They each exist and pursue their own purposes without any “awareness” of what else is happening around them. However, despite this, they are all existing within a common environmental system and are thus achieving goals together on a larger level.
The second movement, Different Porpoises, is inspired by porpoises and other sea-creatures who “surface,” thus providing a link to human land-bound life. The marimba establishes a rhythmic ostinato which (although passed around) remains steady throughout most of the movement.