Basic Geometry

Basic Geometry for percussion trio
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2014)
Composed: 2013
Duration: 5’30”
Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
Instrumentation (3 players): bongos, congas (pair), concert toms (4), snare drums (3), hi-hat, splash cymbal, china cymbal, pandeiro, tamborim, pedal bass drum, pedal cowbell, pedal wood block

The title of this work, written for multiple percussion trio, is a reference to the geometric formulas and figures used to spur the rhythmic and phrase concepts (many of which are noted in the score). The opening section utilizes phrase lengths based on the Pythagorean theory (a2 + b2 = c2), in this case applied as phrases of 6 beats or measures, 8 beats or measures, and 10 beats or measures (feasibly the side measurements of a right triangle). The second section begins in measure 55 and is based loosely on the shortened numerical representation of pi (3.14). It is played primarily on the snare drums (circles) and you’ll see various rhythmic groupings or patterns drawn from the numbers 3, 1, and 4. The third section begins in measure 104 and is inspired by the Fibonacci series (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,…) where each number is the sum of the previous two. Starting in measure 147, the Fibonacci elements begin to appear in reverse, working back down to the number 1, after which selected passages from the opening two sections appear, leading to an aggressive ensemble conclusion. Basic Geometry was commissioned by Dan Smithiger (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Jeff Calissi (Eastern Connecticut State University), Stephen Crawford (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor), Keith Lienert (University of Wisconsin-Platteville), and Dan Moore (University of Iowa).

…this is an excellent percussion trio that permits the performers to dialogue and to perform soloistically as well as an ensemble to make superb music with a unique set of percussion timbres… – Jim Lambert
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.