by John Max McFarland
Instrumentation: Drumset (snare, kick, 4 toms), Drums (timbales, bongos, 3 roto toms, concert bass drum, piccolo snare drum), Cymbals (14" hi-hat, 13" hi-hat, low crash cymbal, 2 splash cymbals, high crash cymbal, 2 ride cymbals, sizzle cymbal, China cymbal), Accessories (4 octabons, high and low jam blocks with pedal, cowbell with pedal, 3 brake drums, 2 mounted cowbells, log drums with 4 pitches, mark tree, temple blocks)
Synergetic Simpatico is an exploration of the musical possibilities of two percussion instruments with two very different stereotypes in the percussion world. The drumset is often construed as a groove-oriented instrument, playing repeating patterns that create an ostinato for other instruments to play along to. The multiple-percussion setup is often looked at in a more contemporary view. The idea of putting together multiple percussion instruments played by one player has been embraced by the contemporary concert realm in the form of modern percussion ensemble pieces and solos, notably pioneered by Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat.
This piece will attempt to break these stereotypes by utilizing the drumset as a contemporary percussion instrument and showing off the multiple-percussion setup as a groove-oriented instrument. The piece begins with an explosive introduction leading into a more contemporary writing approach to the drumset. The second section contains a fugue-like passage featuring five voices that eventually play all at once. With a metric modulation to signify the end of the fugal section, the piece then picks up speed, driving until the end. This last section demonstrates the groove possibilities of the multiple-percussion setups.
The name of the piece is derived from the way each instrument assists the other in breaking out of their stereotypical mold. This is done through the playing of like instruments and the use of musical motives and phrasing throughout the piece.
For ambitious players, Synergetic Simpatico will offer a challenging and rewarding performance opportunity while providing audiences with an unforgettable experience of percussive artistry in its most intricate and modern form.
This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes all individual parts available for printing on the included CD-Rom.