Dr. Terry Longshore will lead Left Edge Percussion, a contemporary percussion group in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, Ashland in the premiere of my percussion arrangement of Tower Music. This grant will go toward extracting the parts from the full score so each member of the ensemble will be able to read their own part on tablet computers.
The work features 82 Percussion instruments played by five performers and will be premiered November 8, 2018 in Ashland, OR. Future plans for recording it, which would further disseminate the work, are under consideration by Dr. Longshore.
The idea behind Tower Music grew out of my Bronze Collection project for solo percussion (video clip here). Everything vibrates and drummers like to bang on things! Why not play the Eiffel Tower? Never thinking I would get permission to do so but liking the concept, I pursued the New York State Bridge Authority to create Bridge Music on the Mid Hudson Bridge over the Hudson River (I didn’t think I’d get permission for that either, but at least I didn’t have to learn French just to ask!). Bridge Music is now in its 9th year as a public sound art installation.
Using Bridge Music as a proof of concept, I approached the French government (six times!) and received permission to sample the surfaces of the Eiffel Tower. Seven years of planning, fundraising and sweat later, Tower Music became a reality, reaching #11 and #16 respectively on the iTunes Classical and Billboard Classical Crossover charts.
The score for Tower Music on the Eiffel Tower itself is written out in standard notation so it can be performed live by c. 100 percussionists, its intended objective; a live performance directly upon the Eiffel Tower is currently in development for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but is far from a “done deal” at this point. The audio files of the music are electronically realized “studio” versions of the music played back by Finale Music Notation linked to the samples.
The arrangement faithfully reproduces the music within the context of a percussion 5tet, i.e.: cymbals standing in for fence crashes, bass drums for booms on the Tower legs with a log, glockenspiel for pings on a pipe, etc.
This arrangement is important to me as it will bring live performances of the work into the concert hall, since live performances on the Eiffel Tower itself will be an extremely rare (if ever) event . It gives longevity and presence to the music by allowing live audiences to enjoy live performances in an authentic, composer-created arrangment.