Christos Hatzis – Modulations (2011)
- ● Two marimbas
- ● Two vibraphone
Duration: 21 minutes Composer’s Note:
Modulations for two vibraphones and two five-octave marimbas was written at the request of the percussion quartet TorQ, a young, up-and-coming ensemble with whom I have collaborated in the past. Every few years, I teach a course at the University of Toronto called “Composing for Percussion.” The first time I taught this course, some of the TorQ members were graduate students at the university. One of them attended the course as a student and a couple of them as Teaching Assistants. In subsequent incarnations of “Composing for Percussion,” TorQ volunteered to act as ensemble-in-residence for the course, to the great delight of my students. They workshopped weekly the student composer pieces and presented them in concert the following semester. When I inquired with the ensemble about compensation for their considerable investment of time and energy in this undertaking, all four of them replied “we want a new piece from you.” I composed Modulations as I was teaching the course, influenced by as much as influencing the in-class discussions and the emergent collective thinking about what is “cool” in keyboard percussion writing. My musical thinking in this piece owes as much to these discussions with my students and to TorQ’s constant “editorial” injections as to my solitary process of soul-searching, which is typical of my other compositional work.
Annotated by Joanna Chen