Flame Head

Score, Parts and Electronics available from Voice House Publishing

P R O G R A M N O T E:

Flame Head (2001) is a duet for percussionist (vibraphone and Chinese gongs) and D.J. Rig. It is a humble tribute to Chango, the Orisha of thunder and lightning in the Cuban-based Santeria religion. The work is based on foundation rhythms of the music of the Yoruban people of Africa.

The work belongs to a series of duets that explore interaction between a solo virtuoso performer on an acoustic instrument and electronics. There are several goals common to all these pieces:

1) to achieve a complex chamber music, with precise and variable interplay between the performers;

2) to create electronic elements that may be performed, from score (and with practice!), by anyone who can read music;

3) to create a performance style for electronic music that incorporates an element of risk in performance (the electronic performance is physically difficult, there is much room and need for interpretation, and it is possible to err) — an important element in the symbiotic connection of “live” music and audience;

4) to employ off-the-shelf, commercially available electronic gear that is designed specifically for performance; and

5) to develop a multi-faceted musical language that can be explored by the listener at different levels of sophistication, and which has the ability to connect with an intelligent, curious audience that may be better versed in the vernacular genres than in new music or the avant garde, (without in any way “dumbing-down” the content).

The over-arching goal of all the above is my desire to be of service to my community as an interpreter, through the art of music, of contemporary concerns. I wish to create the classical music of the future, a classical music that connects to the past and is relevant to the needs, hopes, desires, debates, fears, experiments and aspirations of my fellows — not a music of snobs or experts but an intelligent, vital, populist force that pulses with the heartbeat of the sidewalks.