dust (2017/18) for percussion solo


First double performance by Christian Dierstein and Dirk Rothbrust on 3 May 2018 at Köln Philharmonie, Festival Acht Brücken

Commissioned by Festival Acht Brücken | Musik für Köln and Ensemble Musikfabrik for Christian Dierstein und Dirk Rothbrust, with support from the Ministry for Family Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen

dust is a solo for two, each their own. An homage to Christian Dierstein and Dirk Rothbrust for the (many) wonderful sound sessions over the years. Each performer creates their own version, defined by their own instruments and the chosen juxtaposition of up to eight separately composed modules.

The fallible physical body behind the sound, feeling the weight of sound, exploring the essence of a timbre, seeking the grit and noise within. Surface, weight and touch are the essence of musical performance: the weight of a heavy beater resounding on the drum skin; the bow drawing the sound out of silence; the differentiation of touch pressing the brushes into the drum skin; the expansion of the muscles between the should blades; the player’s in-beath preceding the played tone… – Rebecca Saunders, Berlin 1st April 2018

Complete instrument list:

5 microtonal aluminum flower pots pitched F-G

7 car coils (3 suspended, 4 resting on resonant drums)

4 thin square iron tubes or high pitched bells

10 or more rins/temple bowls

at least 2 timpani (32″, 29″)

2 very large and low bell plates (approx Eb/E2)

Large bass drum

at least 2 snare drums

2 very large aluminum triangles

Large white crystal meditation bowl (F or F#)

5 crotales (C#, D, D#, F, F#) placed on timpano

Bass Nicophone (model Rebecca Saunders from Lunason) resting on timpano

4 solid aluminum strips (approx 6-8ft long) hung at ends with fishing wire

Med. china cymbal

5 rough-surfaced tiles

Small metal disk (from a salt or pepper shaker)


plastic brush, wood brush, sponge

short grass, long grass, long reeds or sticks (bound together)


Annotated by Reed Puleo