Yarn & Steel
Recorded October 20, 2015 by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble: Ryan Muncy, baritone saxophone; David Byrd-Marrow, horn; Jacob Greenberg, piano; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.
Orchestration: baritone saxophone, horn (or flugelhorn), prepared piano
Duration: approx. 8 minutes
The title, Yarn & Steel, refers to the construction of gong beaters as well as to the hard and soft materials that are often used in the “preparation” of a piano. In the same vein, Yarn & Steel explores elements of percussion envelopes and spectra—such as strike tone and resonance—through an unremitting rhythmic and harmonic process that runs throughout the composition. Harmonic material for the work was inspired by a spectral analysis of Kempul, small hanging gongs from the Javanese gamelan ensemble. Algorithmic and spectral processes emphasize the strong inharmonicity of these gongs.