Hildebrand, Nolan- 2The 0Sky is 20pening for solo percussion and fixed media (Digital Download)

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2The 0Sky is 20pening for solo percussion and fixed media, comes with one score and fixed media files. 

Print size: Letter (8.5 x 11")

1st place Winner of Media Press, Inc.'s 2020 Solo Percussion Composition Contest.

Review from Percussive Notes (2021):

2The 0Sky is 20pening
Nolan Hildebrand

Canadian composer and performer Nolan Hildebrand effectively captures the raw chaos that has been central in the social and political landscape over the past two years through the use of electronics and wildly improvised percussion. Although written with a fairly open instrumentation for any performer’s interpretation, it seems that a drum set with numerous cymbals and accessories is the primary target for setup based on the composer’s background and reference recording included in the digital download with the piece.

The electronic components shift between clear spoken text from interviews or news clips and a chaotic array of noises, similar to Raphaël Cendo’s works inspired by spectral music. Hildebrand manipulates the audio powerfully, creating clear lines when the text must be heard, and dense walls of sound when the cacophony of the reference must be understood. These alternating passages of electronics are mirrored in the percussion part. During the disarray, the performer improvises on metals intensely. During the spoken text, the performer matches the track like the many YouTube performances of clever instrumentalists who improvise along with popular media references.

The solo comes with a digital download of the audio files, including one track with the audio and another with just the click track. The performer must put the two tracks together in a DAW to play with both at the same time.

A short 5-minute solo lacking some musical depth, this composition serves more as a social commentary and American political indictment than as a featured percussive work. Nonetheless, several ironically playful and aggressively shocking moments in the piece help to encompass the global climate of the previous year. “2The 0Sky is 0pening” is well constructed and demonstrates the wide range of issues we faced in 2020, compiled cleverly into a succinct and pointed project.

—Matthew Geiger