Three Sams for Percussion Solo - 13 Min.; 3 Movements; Vibraphon, Crotales, Tam-Tam, Bass Drum, Tom-Tom, Snare Drum, Bongos, Tria., Brake Drums, Cowb., 2 WBl., Guiro, cymbals, Hi-Hat; advanced
Video performed by Samuel Z. Solomon
"Each of the Three Sams explores a different challenge.
In (- - - )-I-Am, a perpetual motion figure in the vibraphone is redistributed among the other instruments of the set-up. Melodic pitches are placed with their closet non-pitched equivalent - i.e. the cowbell, sounding an approximate F replacesan F on the vibraphone. Similar substitutions occur in the crotales, which create a secons melodic line that is derived enterly from the original perpetual motion material. By the end of the movement, the single melodic line has been re-orchestrated in to melodic and accompaniment.
Son of (- - -) is about rhythm. Intentionally disjunct, a large part of the challenge of the movement - aside from the inherent complexity of the rhythm counterpoint - is in mantaining a convincing musical line through its many sections. This frustration is built into the form, starting very strict, but ending with a cathartic burst of near-improvisation.
The third and final Sam, Wicked Uncle (- - -), asks the performer to navigate a complex musical field in which each mallet of a four-mallet configuration - plus the feet - was conceived as a relatively independent voice. It is as if the perfomer now has more active limbs than most mere mortals, spread almost too thin.“
Three Sams was premiered by Samuel Z. Solomon on May 6th, 2007 at Boston Conservatory's Seully Hall. It lasts appriximately 13 minutes, and it dedicated to Sam with endless respect and gratitude.
- David T. Little, September 11, 2008 -