Broken Drum

for brake drum (2003)
with computer
duration is 6′

I found a car “brake drum” on the side of the road and decided to make this bit of wreckage into a musical instrument. The metamorphosis from refuse into something of beauty attracted me. Here, in sound, as in Duchamp’s art, the trash placed on a pedestal takes on new meaning. The title points to this relationship while characterizing the musical processes at work. Musically the piece focuses on two ideas: 1) the acoustic sonorities of the brake drum, and 2) the “broken drum” metaphor represented by rhythmic systems that in various ways are imperfectly constructed or disintegrated through cross-polymetric relationships. Broken Drum was written for percussionist Morris Palter.

score excerpt

Broken Drum score and elec
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