Timetable in concert

Concert #8

Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy


A Concert of Premieres for Percussion Trio

Matthew Gold, percussion | Joseph Tompkins, percussion | Matt Ward, percussion


MASK MEAN BUNDLE (2006)* — Brendan Connelly

Calder Pieces (2003) — Giancarlo Vulcano

I. Sea Scape, 1947

I asked Marcel Duchamp in 1931 what sort of name  I could give these things and he at once produced "mobile."

Gather (2006)* — Keeril Makan

Calder Pieces (2003) — Giancarlo Vulcano

II. Calderberry Bush, 1932 

Why must art be static? 

The next step is sculpture in motion.

in red weather (2006)* — Elizabeth Hoffman

* = world premiere

All works on this program were composed for TimeTable.


This concert is notable for TimeTable in that all of the music is really new, and it was all composed for the group. Getting a new piece from a composer is a little like opening a present and finding that some assembly is required. We received each of the works on this program with great excitement, then set about to discover their inner logics and bring them to life. In each case we have worked closely with the composers, sometimes through long e-mail exchanges, and ultimately in rehearsal. This program is especially exciting in that three of the works are premieres. The only exception is Giancarlo Vulcano’s Calder Pieces, which he wrote for us in 2003, and which we have performed several times since. TimeTable would like to thank each of the composers for their music and their collaboration. 

The three words of MASK MEAN BUNDLE’s title were pulled from a book-length poem by Clark Coolidge called Geology. In each other’s presence, these words (do they functions as nouns? they could be something else) vibrate with associations, some hidden at the level of the phoneme. Theirordering is perhaps arbitrary (why not BUNDLE MASK MEAN?), but their placement within the poem feels exact and inevitable. 

Calderberry Bush and Sea Scape are two movements from a four movement work inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder. With his playful wire and metal objects Calder draws three dimensional figures in space and creates ever changing harmonies between the moving parts of a sculpture.    In these compositions, the players' steps are notated in musical durations to create a counterpoint between what they play and their rate of speed and location around the audience.   Only three pitches are used — C, C#, E — creating an ever changing relationship between the major and minor thirds circling the listener. Each movement lasts as long as it takes the performers to travel around the hall, so the performance space exerts a unique influence on every performance.  The Calder Pieces were composed in 2003 for TimeTable.  

In Gather, energy is turned into space. The opening of the piece is dominated by silence, an empty space devoid of sound, but filled with potential energy. Aritualistic approach to the instruments focuses and amplifies the energies of the percussionists, which are then transformed into pulsations. The music that follows explores two complementary timbres, represented by drums and cymbals. As temporal space is filled with energy, the sounds of the percussion become an increasingly physical reality. The culminating saturation of sound and energy is the complement of the opening silence. 

in red weather (2006) was written for TimeTable Percussion. The title voices the last line of Wallace Stevens' poem (Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock) , whose point of view urges a greater valuing of the imagination as a shaper even of our perceptions and assumptions. An interesting thing about this poem is how it elicits the very imaginary fantasies that it laments as being scarce, even in dreams. The piece includes use of brass bars, cut by the composer to effect a particular tuning; but the performance concept allows this element to be replaced by any percussion “instrument” with the same number of ordered metal elements--thus the specific harmonies heard in this performance do not delimit the piece in all of its possible renditions. This piece is in one continuous movement, in which shifting harmonic fields project distinct syntactic structuring, or rhythmic colorings.