James Tenney

The Solo Works for Percussion

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Performed by Matthias Kaul with the assistance of RĂ¼diger Orth. It contains the shocking "Maximusic" (1965), built from sudden dynamic contrasts of a mysterious soft cymbal roll and an explosion of the performer's energy. "Ergodos II" for tape with percussion complement (1963-1964) is a classic from Tenney's early work at the Bell Labs and is for computer-generated sound and a percussionist guided by a graphic score offering a wide range of responsive options. "Koan: Having Never Written a Note for Percussion" for tamtam (1971) is a deeply intense and meditative 17-minute study in the surprising harmonic richness of a slowly modulated sustained gong. The wonderfully engaging "For Percussion Perhaps, Or..." (1970-1971) is built from overlapping loops of sound details outlining a slowly developing physical yet still mysterious presence. The aptly named "Deus Ex Machina" for percussion and tape delay system (1982) envelops the listener within Tenney's self-contained, resonant, and inviting universe.

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