Taming the Beast (1985)
Solo percussion and fixed media
Taming the Beast (1985) is a work for solo percussionist and fixed media. The percussionist is surrounded by a battery of metallic instruments ranging from the triangle to large gongs and tam-tams. In the course of the piece, the percussionist emerges from this ‘cage’ and ends playing the magical ‘stroke rods,’ long aluminum rods which are stroked to produce high ringing tones. The work in is in 3 large sections the first of which features Buddhist chant in the fixed media portion which has been modified and altered electronically. Metallic sounds dominate the middle section while a wide-spectrum synthesized rainbow of sound dominates the ending. The soloist has semi-improvisational sections throughout the work along with strickly somposed sections. The piece has been featured in concerts in the U.S., the Netherlands and Belgium with performers including Jim Pugliese, Jeff Kershner, Paul Koek and Max Van Der Beek.