For steel pan and fixed media, includes score and accompaniment on CD. A sonic commentary on the works of the famous visual artist, this work is as original as the paintings that inspired it's composer. McClure looked at Rothko's technique and has blended electronic sounds with the steel pan the way a painter combines color, texture and movement. Mesmerizing. ca 8 min.
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Review from Percussive Notes:
Robert McClure – Passacaglia on a Theme by Mark Rothko
This aleatoric solo piece for solo steel pan and mixed-media electronic accompaniment comes with the accompanying electronic media on CDR and an oversized two-page score complete with liberal program notes and performance notes. No indication on which type of steel pan to use is given, but from the minimal written passages, a lead pan would be best. Unfolding over eight minutes, this piece involves a background of chords for which the content of and duration varies as the piece progresses. Accompanying recorded timbres involve choices from the composer’s kitchen, which is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Trinidadian origins of the steel pan. A recording of the piece is included on the composer’s website via SoundCloud. The steel pan part is mainly improvised with some indications of short melodic fragments and passages on the score. As the composer states, the piece is intended to be a reflection of how and what he sees in the paintings of Mark Rothko, the great Russian-American abstract artist. The steel pan functions much in the same manner, entering sparsely midway through as an “observer” of the goings on. The piece isn’t that difficult and would be a good introduction to aleatoric techniques and the lead steel pan for intermediate percussion recitals.
—N. Scott Robinson