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“Timber” (Excerpt) by Michael Gordon


“Timber” by Michael Gordon

Performed by Kaylee Bonatakis, Adam Holmes, Jon Collazo, Aaron Butler, Leonardo Bertolini Labrada, Joel Block

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Orchestral Series (M130)

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Soft plastic for a warm sound on xylophone. Also great on marimba.


Timber is an evening-length tour de force scored for six graduated wooden Simantras — percussion instruments devised by French composer Iannis Xenakis. The work brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level. Here, Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures — often each players’ hands are in separate rhythmic ‘worlds,’ each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud, similar in some respects to his solo for percussion, XY.

Much of Gordon’s music demonstrates a deep exploration into the extreme possibilities and stunning nature of rhythm, as well as the enriching, yet disturbing, multi-dimensionality of polyrhythmic layers — what has been termed in his music to be “glorious confusion.” Timber takes these elements and explores the extreme possibilities of rhythm and texture to a beautifully intense degree. The new evening-length work is a unique and exciting addition to the world of percussion.

Timber was commissioned by the dance company Club Guy and Roni, Slagwerkgroep den Haag and Mantra Percussion.

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