Grand Larceny

— Violin, Alto Saxophone, Snare Drum, Hi-Hats and Live Electronics —

Score, Parts and Electronics available from

Voice House Publishing

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Program Note:

Based on an idea by SAXIMUS, Grand Larceny concerns an exploration of speed metal. The uncompromising intensity, careful construction & virtuosic technical level that characterize this genre make a suitable prize for theft by SWARMIUS. Props to all notorious music criminals bent on implanting mosh pits into the edifice of the classical establishment.

Grand Larceny — a musical bank heist: Grab the money, race for the door, jump into the getaway car, knock over fire hydrant as you tear around the corner, cops & sirens in hot pursuit.

Grand Larceny was composed for SWARMIUS

Jozefius Vaatierz Rattus, October 3, 2007


SWARMIUS comprises SAXIMUS (Saxophones), Fiddlus (Violin), Crotalius Redfoot (Percussion, and Jozefius Vattierz Rattus (Electro-Acoustic Composer/Laptop performer). The quartet is committed to expanding the avant-garde classical literature to encompass a New Relevance. The New Relevance demands works that are non-elitist, rigorous, and multi-level: works that are simultaneously accessible and challenging. To this end, SWARMIUS combines traditional virtuosity with a search for new timbres, performance practices, and 21st century cross-cultural aesthetic reflection. It challenges timeworn, outmoded norms for the uses of classical music, the means by which it is presented, and the venues in which it is experienced. SWARM unites performers and composer, focuses them on a common goal, and puts them onstage together. SWARMIUS is in residence at the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University, home for 17 years of the maverick genius Harry Partch Ensemble. SWARMIUS strives to emulate Partch's uncompromising aesthetic values.


Joseph Waters (b. 1952) is a member of the first generation of American classical composers who grew up playing in rock bands. Throughout his career he has been intrigued by the confluence and tensions that entangle and bind the music of Europe and Africa. His interests include physiological, sub-cultural pattern seeking mechanisms and development of fractal cognitive models for understanding pattern recognition. Much of his work involves interactions between electronic and acoustic instruments. He is the founder of NWEAMO (New West Electro-Acoustic Music Organization). Each October the NWEAMO Festival travels between Mexico City, San Diego, Portland and New York City, presenting composers from around the world in concerts that unite the worlds of avant-garde classical and experimental electronica. He also performs and composes for the Waters_Bluestone_Duel, a collaboration with percussionist Joel Bluestone that explores the combination of live electronics and percussion, as well as SWARMIUS the virtuoso interdisciplinary quartet in residence at San Diego State University. He studied composition at Yale University, the Universities of Oregon and Minnesota, and Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut. Primary teachers were Jacob Druckman, Bernard Rands, Roger Reynolds, Dominick Argento, and Martin Bresnick.

© 2006 Joseph Waters
All Rights Reserved

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