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Syncophony

Ensemble Clarinet, Cello, Piano, Electric Guitar,
and 2 Percussionists

Duration 20:00

Completed 2013

Cost $80 (Score and Parts)

The idea driving Syncophony is for each of the diverse instruments within the mixed chamber ensemble to take on each others' qualities and styles. The first movement is based on striking sonorities, as normally produced by the piano and mallet percussion. The other instruments use sharp forte-pianos to imitate this effect and various harmonies are sounded in this manner with interjections of repeated notes and “flurry” figures. In the second movement, the whole ensemble takes on the role of the percussion section and the entire movement is without pitch. This movement is obviously led by the two percussionists, but the other instruments use extended techniques such as muted strings, key clicks, palm- rams, and playing on a closed key cover to sound in a similar fashion. The third movement showcases the electric guitar and is in a quasi heavy metal style. Short, fast 16th-note runs are exchanged throughout the ensemble, building until a metal-style cadenza and trio with the percussionists, finishing up with a brief coda. In the final movement, the ensemble adopts the sound of the clarinet and cello, playing nearly all of the movement with no attack. This is accomplished by using a volume swell pedal for the electric guitar, playing with soft mallets inside the piano, and bowing mallet percussion instruments.