Counterpoint for Two Isolated Drumsets

Score // Datasheet

This piece is a duet for percussionists wearing isolation headphones. Each performer plays along to a separate metronome, set to different tempos.

While the piece has no audible electronic sounds, it would not be possible to perform without the capabilities of technology. The performers use isolating monitors, like those of high profile pop stage musicians. Rather than using this technology to keep humans synchronized with eachother and with pre-programmed electronic parts, however, the technology is being used to keep the performers carefully separated.

Each individual part is mechanical, with no divisions more complex than 32nd notes or triplets. However, when compiled, the parts create a chaotic texture. This tension of simultaneous and inseparable feelings of rigid mechanism and/or fluidity can be parsed in many different ways depending on the observer’s attention.

Premiered on November 22, 2014 by JSM & Cameron Wisch at Elebash Recital Hall at the CUNY Graduate Center.