Speed of Sound in an Ice Rain (2016) for percussion ensemble and field recording has been released by Innova Records on the “Speed of Sound” album by I-Jen Fang and the UVA Percussion Ensemble. The album was created to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Music Department at the University of Virginia, which corresponds with the beginnings of composition and electronic music at the university in 1919. Along with Burtner, the album features a thoughtful collection of music by Judith Shatin, Sophia Shen, Kristina Warren, Mark Panetti, Kevin Davis, Jon Bellona, and Maxwell Tfirn
The album is available at https://www.innova.mu/albums/uva-percussion-ensemble/speed-sound and wherever music is heard.
The sheet music and performance materials for Speed of Sound in an Ice Rain are available for download at http://matthewburtner.com/the-speed-of-sound-in-an-ice-rain-2016/ .
The nine-minute composition features an ice rain field recording, along with the percussion ensemble playing two marimbas each with one or more players, vibraphone with two players, two glockenspiel, and xylophone.
The piece uses uncommon notation for each instrument to address the polymorphic temporality in the ice rain.
Speed of Sound in an Ice Rain was premiered by William Winant’s percussion ensemble in Oakland, CA.
Jazz Weekly calls the album “Creative and original,” and Fanfare Magazine writes that it is “Highly beautiful…both intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging.”