Put Your Ear to the River You Hear Trees
For percussion (vibraphone, bongos, tam-tam, suspended cymbal, C# crotale) and piano
Commissioned by Michael Jones and Ashley Zhang
Shortly before I was approached about writing this piece, I went for a long walk around a reservoir. It was a clear day and the air was very still so I found myself mesmerized by the reflections of the sky and the trees on the surface of the water. After a while I began thinking about how reflection as an abstract idea might inform a musical work and when the opportunity to compose for this ensemble presented itself, the similarities between percussion and piano felt particularly well suited for this idea so I ran with it. Here I am not so much interested in attempting a literal representation of reflection, but rather I use the concept to keep asking myself questions that inform the work. I’ve been very interested in the imperfections of reflection, how reflection is related to memory, how our perception of ourselves is mostly through reflection, and how sound itself might metaphorically be considered a reflection of touch.