for multiple percussion and fixed media
Composer: Robert McClure
The Integrated Elements series features solo instruments and pre-recorded sound. The aim of this series is to use the sounds created by instruments, electronically produced sounds, and the sounds made by the human voice or mouth to create an integrated sound world.
Integrated Elements No. 2 “Not a Haiku” was written after many conversations with Scott Shinbara about the possibility of the composition. The multiple percussion set up consists of the following which were chosen based on Scott’s personal collection of instruments; 4 double-headed toms (8” 10” 12” 14”), pedal bass drum, 2 mini timbales (6” and 8”), 2 woodblocks, log drum, and a wooden-headed tom. The pre-recorded sounds are organized into three categories: metal sounds (opera gongs, nipple gongs, tam-tams, cymbals, metal pipes), electronically produced sounds (static, pitches, clicks), and sounds created from using my own voice (yells, humming, pitches).
The piece is constructed in three large parts and breaks down further into a 5-part arch form. I took the ratio 5:7:5 to devise the length of these three large sections. Also, this ratio determines the metric scheme using bars of 5/8, 7/8, and 5/8, which increase exponentially. This scheme is used for the first large section and then run in reverse for the last large section. The ratio also constructs a gong cycle that is run throughout the entire piece, as it would be in traditional gamelan music. And finally, even the instrument selection shows the ratio of 5:7 with wooden instruments to drums respectively.
This piece was not inspired by the Japanese form of poetry, “haiku” which has a 5-7-5 syllable structure. It does not try to incite imagery of nature. Despite the numeric connection to the poetic art form, this piece is not a haiku. This piece was written for and is dedicated to Scott Shinbara.