On-Demand Audio: Mantra Percussion Performs Michael Gordon's Timber

Live from the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Fishman Space

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Q2 Music presents an archived, on-demand stream of Michael Gordon's epic percussion sextet Timber for six amplified 2x4s, performed by Mantra Percussion and recorded live in concert on Dec. 15 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Fishman Space.

Michael Gordon writes, "I decided early on that Timber would be for non-tuned percussion and that each percussionist would play one instrument only. I thought of composing this music as being like taking a trip out into the desert. I was counting on the stark palette and the challenge of survival to clear my brain and bring on visions.

"I imagined that the six instruments would go from high to low, and that, through a shifting of dynamics from one instrument to the next, the group could make seamless and unified descending or ascending patterns." His choice of instrument — technically the 'simantra,' a wooden slab with roots in Eastern Orthodox tradition, pioneered by Iannis Xenakis — "which looked like standard building materials from a lumberyard to me, had a gorgeous sound. It was distinct enough so that the clarity of the percussive hits could be heard, and was also extremely resonant, producing a complex field of overtones."

Above is the archived audio of the complete, meditative hour-long performance.

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