Arc & Current


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Score and Parts: $16

Arc & Current  for Steel Drum or Mallets Duo  [8 minutes]

1. Arc  [3.5 minutes]

2. Current  [4.5 minutes]

Performed by the Ironworks Percussion Duo at the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall.

Instrumentation:  Tenor Pan & Double Tenor Pans or 2 Mallet Instruments.

Year Composed:  2007

Recording available at AmazoniTunesIronWorks, or from other retailers.


Program Notes:  

In my mind, the Steel Drum conjures up images of electricity, islands, festivals, hammers, and gleaming steel.  The idea of industry and nature coming together to form something new, artistic, and acoustic was a very intriguing concept.  Arc & Current was composed with the idea of this duality in mind.  Each of the two movements explores both an industrial and natural aspect of the instrument.

Arc refers to the radiant light created by an electrical arc as well as the curved shape of the steel drum.  The first movement follows an arch form and begins with bright chords and a dancing line that passes back and forth between the two players.  The chords continually spark up and interrupt the arcing line until they fuse together and intermingle in a clamor of the two parts.  The movement then becomes an interweaving dance as the moving line passes between the drums while chordal sparks intermittently interrupt the flow.  The two lines come back together and intermingle once again leading to a bright and rhythmic conclusion.

Current refers to the movement of electricity through metal as well as the movement of water in and away from the beaches.  This movement continues the dancing arcing line from the first movement but pairs it with a more flowing and festive melody.  A joyous chorus continually enters in a rondo form but eventually leads back to the chordal sparks from the beginning.  A chromatic version of the Current melody plays alongside the chords until the sparks ultimately take over and conclude the piece. 

Arc & Current was commissioned by the Ironworks Percussion Duo (Axel Clarke and Dave Gerhardt) and was premiered on December 2, 2007 at the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall of California State University, Long Beach.  

Arc & Current was originally scored for Tenor Pan and Double Tenor Pans but may be performed by any combination of mallet instruments within the range.  Possible pairings would be Tenor Pan & Marimba, 2 Marimbas, 2 Vibraphones, or Vibraphone & Marimba.

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