Nian 3 for Bass Drum Trio - 7-8 Min.; 3 Concert Bass Drums; schwer
The word 念 (pronounced Nian) has multiple meanings depending on the context the word is used in or the prefix it follows. Examples of what it could mean are reminisce, meditation, meaning and sense. To me personally, the word connate a state of spiritual inner peace and awareness, while being in harmony with and connected to everything around us past, present and future. It is somewhat related to Buddhism philosophies of letting go of the idea of ‘self’ and that time is linear. Of course this piece has a definite beginning and an end, but my idea was to try to capture the concept of circular time/structure, where there is no beginning nor end, only a state of ‘being.’
There are two versions of 念3 (Nian3), one for solo bass drum, and one for bass drum trio. In this piece, I wanted to experiment with expressing musical/artistic depth through a limited palette of instrumental color. Compositionally/technically, it works on any drum. I just personally prefer the depth and resonance of a bass drum. This piece shows Asian musical influences on the surface, but the core of the music is quite deeply rooted in western musical structure.
This piece is dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law Yasuo Daimo.
1) The number of times some measures are to be repeated is flexible. Player repeat lower or higher than the indicated range if the desired musical flow is achieved.
2) Phrasing and slurs are left out for most of the score on purpose. Player should be creative in finding ways to interpret the micro and macro phrasing.
3) Similarly, exact beating spots on the drum is not indicated. Player should be creative in experimenting with different beating spots to explore different tone colors,bring out the desired voice-leading, phrasing and musical effects, like one typically would on a snare drum.
Duration: 7-8 minutes