Droplets

CR: 90, 95, 96, 97
Year: 2014-2015/2017
Duration: 32'
Instrumentation: Percussion solo
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Droplets I
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Droplets I (2014-2015) - [6'] - CR 90
Droplets II (2017) - [11'] - CR 95
Droplets III (2017) - [6'] - CR 96
Droplets IV (2017) - [8'] - CR 97

Natural processes were an important source of inspiration for the percussion cycle Droplets. In this four-part cycle, one solo percussionist produces a very dynamic polyphony using merely a modest collection of wooden and metal objects as instruments.

A large part of the material in the pieces from the cycle is based on the phenomenon of multiple cycles of periodic rhythms occurring at the same time - a phenomenon that can be observed both in nature and in music. For example, think of raindrops that alternately fall from two branches of a tree. Using this principle, many complex tempo relationships and ambiguities are created, often resulting in a very dense but at the same time transparent web of counterpoint for the solo performer. Up to 12 different cycles or tempi sound simultaneously, with some of these tempi slowing down or accelerating independently from each other.

For a long time already, I have been interested in creating some kind of balance between ideas or concepts that are complex by their nature and realizations that reduce them, as far as possible, to their bare essentials, removing any clutter. The purpose of this is to present something as clear as possible in order to make sure all subtleties will be exposed and can be observed audibly.

In this case, this approach or aesthetic has also been extended to the choice of instrumentation, just using the minimum of what is needed, with the second piece from the cycle in this sense being the most reduced, or restricted.

It has been an intruiging challenge to develop an idiomatic way of writing for percussion that makes possible a practical realization that renders the processes clearly audible as well as gives the basis for results that are practically performable, physically virtuosic, and exciting.

The cycle was written for percussionist Konstantyn Napolov, with whom I have worked frequently since our first collaboration in 2012. All four pieces from the cycle can also be performed as separate pieces.

show past performances
  • Droplets I only (Premiere)
    16 April 2015, 20.00, Korzo Theater, Prinsestraat 42, The Hague, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    Spring Festival
  • Droplets I only
    18 May 2015, 19.30, Kees van Baarenzaal, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
  • Droplets I only (US Premiere)
    9 July 2015, 19.15, 20.00, Enfield Shaker Museum, 447 NH-4A, Enfield, NH 03748, United States
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
  • Droplets I only
    11 August 2015, 20.00, Dorpskerk, Wilp, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    NJO Muziekzomer
  • Droplets I only
    15 August 2015, 20.00, Grote Kerk, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    NJO Muziekzomer
  • Droplets I only
    15 August 2015, 21.00, Grote Kerk, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    NJO Muziekzomer
  • Droplets I only
    7 November 2015, 16.30, Bovenzaal, De Muzerije, Hinthamerstraat 74, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    November Music
  • Droplets I only
    7 November 2015, 16.45, Bovenzaal, De Muzerije, Hinthamerstraat 74, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    November Music
  • Droplets I only
    22 November 2015, 15.30, De Zalen, Riouwstraat 1, The Hague, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
  • Droplets I, II, III, IV (premiere of full cycle)
    10 September 2017, 13.45, TivoliVredenburg K.F. Hein Foyer, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Konstantyn Napolov (percussion)
    Gaudeamus Muziekweek

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