Simons, Thomas- Black Mirror, for percussion trio

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Black Mirror, for percussion trio, includes one score. 

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Review from Percussive Notes:

This percussion trio creates a spatial relationship between the audience and performers for each of the three movements. The piece requires a significant amount of equipment, mature performers, and a dedicated space in any program that includes it due to the unique setup, with movements one and two requiring a large number of instruments to be set in a circle with the performers on the inside. The amount of equipment and adding the unique setup of the audience will necessitate a large amount of space.


While performing around or within the audience is nothing new, “Black Mirror” does something slightly different. What sets it apart from other pieces is that the third movement has the audience surround the players, while movements one and two have the audience on either the right or left of the players, depending on the movement. This helps to create a different stereo image with each movement, which could be interesting.


The organization of the musical material for “Black Mirror” requires mature players who can function independently of the other performers. While the instructions are complex, the basic idea is that there are eight sections of music for setups one and two. These sections are chosen at random by the performers. Performers work their way through all of the gestures, and ideally end at the same time. Doing this correctly will create a stereophonic work for the audience that, with mature performers, could be quite entertaining.


“Black Mirror” will challenge audiences, performers, and facility managers. Given the music’s gestural nature, it could be a good work for upperclassmen to gain experience with pacing and navigation between setups. The challenge will be having a program that has the equipment as well as the space to create the event.

—Brian Nozny