Kowalski, Michael- Tracks, for percussion quartet and piano

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SKU:
16790

Includes score and parts.

Tracks

 

1 movement.  7-8 minutes.

 

Xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, and piano combine to create a neo-Baroque motor rhythm grounded in a constant quarter-note pulse.  Tracks is tonal, but its tonality is grounded neither in modes, post-Romantic or American pop harmony, nor in nostalgic pastiche, but rather in a musical adaptation of the statistical methodology of Markoff chains.  My intention was to create the consonant sonority and forward thrust of traditional tonal music without the well-worn melodic and harmonic patterns of tonal music.  Whether or not I succeeded is a purely musical question that has nothing to do with an understanding of the mathematics involved.

 

Tracks was written toward the end of the period of twelve-tone music's hegemony among composers of concert music in the United States.  Since then, of course, tonality has reasserted itself in countless forms ranging from minimalism to neo-Romanticism to cross-cultural collage.  Tracks represents yet another path, perhaps one not often taken: one that attempts to broaden the unnecessarily narrow sound spectrum of twelve-tone music and restore a lost sense of musical propulsion, while taking care not to throw out twelve-tone music's strange aural magic, its textural inventiveness and indisputable contrapuntal elegance.  Serial music happened, and it's in our ears.  The fans of Steve Reich can't unhear Pierre Boulez any more than Boulez could succeed in unhearing Wagner or Cage could unhear Beethoven. Tracks is my attempt to straddle the historical divide without waxing nostalgic.

 

 

 

Tracks was composed and premiered in 1974 at the University of Iowa. It was a featured work in the 1978 International Computer Music Conference at Northwestern University.  A recording by the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble with pianist Stephen Thomas is available on the Einstein Records CD Gringo Blaster.

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Tracks

 

1 movement.  7-8 minutes.

 

Xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, and piano combine to create a neo-Baroque motor rhythm grounded in a constant quarter-note pulse.  Tracks is tonal, but its tonality is grounded neither in modes, post-Romantic or American pop harmony, nor in nostalgic pastiche, but rather in a musical adaptation of the statistical methodology of Markoff chains.  My intention was to create the consonant sonority and forward thrust of traditional tonal music without the well-worn melodic and harmonic patterns of tonal music.  Whether or not I succeeded is a purely musical question that has nothing to do with an understanding of the mathematics involved.

 

Tracks was written toward the end of the period of twelve-tone music's hegemony among composers of concert music in the United States.  Since then, of course, tonality has reasserted itself in countless forms ranging from minimalism to neo-Romanticism to cross-cultural collage.  Tracks represents yet another path, perhaps one not often taken: one that attempts to broaden the unnecessarily narrow sound spectrum of twelve-tone music and restore a lost sense of musical propulsion, while taking care not to throw out twelve-tone music's strange aural magic, its textural inventiveness and indisputable contrapuntal elegance.  Serial music happened, and it's in our ears.  The fans of Steve Reich can't unhear Pierre Boulez any more than Boulez could succeed in unhearing Wagner or Cage could unhear Beethoven. Tracks is my attempt to straddle the historical divide without waxing nostalgic.

 

 

Tracks was composed and premiered in 1974 at the University of Iowa. It was a featured work in the 1978 International Computer Music Conference at Northwestern University.  A recording by the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble with pianist Stephen Thomas is available on the Einstein Records CD Gringo Blaster.