Thrash and Variations
Bass Clarinet and Boombox, version for Amp. Flute (1995)
Written for Hein Pijnenburg
Thrash and variations is, for the player, a perilous, high speed drive through quick tempi changes, tight turns of style and razor-sharp alterations between written and improvised passages. The ‘drum machine’ part borrows heavily from the more virtuosic moments of heavy metal and its faster offspring, ‘speed metal’ and ‘trash’. At the same time, these patterns are reworked into a part technically impossible for a real drummer to perform.
In the original version, written for bass clarinet, a recording of a drum machine was played back on stage with a ghetto blaster. In the version for flute, the drum machine part was re-recorded by Anne La Berge, using her well-known battery of percussive sounds and ‘re-played’ with a sequencer. The title refers not only to the variations on drum rhythms from such styles as ‘trash’, but also to the score’s many improvised passages which direct the player to fill in little pockets of time with compressed chunks of merciless sonic intensity. The original version for bass clarinet was written for Hein Pijnenburg. The flute version is more or less a transcription of Anne’s approach to the piece.