alphabeta takes the shape of three introductions and three episodes. In each introduction, an
“alphabet” is defined by matching a limited number of percussion sounds with their piano
“equivalents” (a low-resolution copy of the pitch content of the percussion sound, analyzed in
software). This flattening out of the richness of the percussion timbres into equal-tempered
piano chords is for me both reductive (due to the extreme loss of information) and illuminating
(as the connection between the two is actually perceptible, even so).

The episodes then string these basic units together in a series of increasingly elaborate
contexts, built on abstracted metaphors of “song,” “speech,” and “music”.
alphabeta is dedicated to yarn | wire.
instrumentation: piano 4-hands and 2 percussion
Player 1
Metal Cowbell (sounding G#3)
5 Almglocken (sounding C5, C#5, F#5, G#5, and B5)
2 Triangles (different timbres, complex as possible)
Low Chinese Cymbal (with fundamental freq. around F2)
Kabuki Claves
Small Metal or Ceramic Bell (sounding B7) or B7 Crotale
Xylophone (shared with Player 2)
Player 2
Bass Drum
2 Bongos (tuned to C#4 and F4)
Snare Drum (tuned to G3)
Tamborim (tuned to G#4)
4 Log Drums (F#4, G4, Bb4, B4)
3 Woodblocks (3 different pitches, extremely high)
Large Thai Gong (E3)
Tibetan Cymbals
Xylophone (shared with Player 1)
Castanets (for Piano 2 only)
duration: 7′
– Program note by Eric Wubbels

Annotated by Reed Puleo