Albert, Thomas- A Maze (With Grace), for indeterminate ensemble (Digital Download)

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A Maze (With Grace), for indeterminate ensemble includes one score. 

Print size: 11 x 17"

Review from Percussive Notes (2022):

“A Maze (With Grace)” is as much a game for the performers as it is a listening experience for the audience. The score (which owes more than a little to Riley’s “In C”) is made up of several musical cells graphically linked to form the musical pathways of, well, a maze, which must be navigated by each member of the ensemble at his or her own pace and sequence. Each of the musical cells contains a sequence of grace notes leading into a single sustained arrival, and therefore the piece will invariably sound like an improvisation. However, other than the performers’ choice of pathway through the maze, the piece is not at all improvised, and the composer’s consistent use of the core harmonic and melodic structures of “Amazing Grace” keep the otherwise “free” piece from veering too far away from the original hymn’s vocabulary. 

My suspicion is that, unless furnished with a copy of the score, the audience will have no idea what kind of mental gymnastics the performers are executing, but thanks to the composer’s commitment to the original hymn, the adventurous-yet-accessible-enough sonic result will be enjoyed. Meanwhile, the performers themselves are sure to enjoy the challenge of navigating the score from all directions. This piece would be an especially good fit for a college ensemble in need of a piece that allows them to begin exploring aleatory and graphic notation, but by comfortable degrees. 

—Brian Graiser