My friends tell me I am always trying to swim against the tide. This tendency to do the opposite of what's expected has an impact on my way of composing too. For example, if I am writing for a lyrical instrument such as the cello, I will want to write something very percussive. The opposite applies when writing for percussion: I feel I must produce something lyrical and atmospheric. This was the starting point for 'Be.' (Am I a rebel or just perverse?)
My perception is that many percussion pieces start loudly and are fast and rhythmic. In order to be counter-intuitive I decided to start the piece using two bows, moving slowly as if we are listening to someone breathing deeply.
Gradually the player progresses from bows to soft sticks, then medium sticks and finally hard sticks. These transitions must be barely perceptible. I test the dexterity of the percussionist, making him wish he had more than one set of limbs - like an octopus.
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