shoaloboe, violin, bass, 2 percussionists and transducers
In this work, I explore the use of transducers (small speaker drivers) to generate random rhythms of various densities. The transducers are placed on different drum heads, which act as resonators that amplify and filter the audio signals. Taking this initial idea as a metaphor to generate deeper musical structures, I thought of the entire ensemble as a large, malleable resonator that also amplifies, filters, distorts and alters these small gestures in increasingly extreme ways.
The title Shoal refers to both a sandbank and a school of fish. In both cases, a collection of individual grains form a system that is malleable, flexible, and distorted by forces in its surrounding environment.
Shoal is lovingly dedicated to my father-in-law Steve Hanson, who passed away unexpectedly in February 2023. He was a kind, generous person who loved music and also loved the ocean.
Thank you to Sam Nichols for inviting me to write this piece, and to the Empyrean Ensemble for premiering it.
The Empyrean Ensemble led by Matilda Hofman premiered Shoal on May 21, 2023: