neither Anvil nor Pulley

composed for (and with) So Percussion 
2010  ⤥  42′

Unlike the anvil or pulley, the computer hides its purpose –to strike or yank will only break. What is this “tool” we call a computer? It is surely not really about computation, and what does it offer us as musical beings? neither Anvil nor Pulley is, in short, a wordless musical epic that explores the human/machine relationship in the digital age. Are there musical places we can travel to or musical buildings we can construct with this tool that were impossible — even for us to imagine — with its predecessors? 

The cast: a turntable spinning vinyl with the fuzzy, crackling remains of some old sounding fiddles tunes; virtual metronomes, clicking relentlessly, but reset by striking some old chunks of wood; re-purposed golf video game controllers — joysticks with pull-strings, aka the tethers; a huge bass-drum with speaker drivers attached, performed with hand-held microphones, the resultant feedback tuned via digital filters changing to the key notes of a well-known Bach Prelude; difficult drum machines; four virtuoso and highly imaginative percussionists 

The story: we begin with the crackle and fuzz of a needle dropping on vinyl… well, best just to look and listen… In five acts, of varying lengths and natures: 

Composing for (I really should say “with”) So Percussion is an incredible pleasure. Their collaborative and adventurous spirits (not to mention their sheer musical abilities) are awesome. In the past, I’ve had the privilege of actually performing my own music with them; while I don’t join them in neither Anvil nor Pulley, a doppelganger of sort — in the form of a turntable — sits in. 

Score and Performance Materials

120bpm parts
120bpm manual
Software (ChucK and Max; GPL license)

music ©2010 Many Arrows Music
Performance Rights licensed by ASCAP
software released under a GNU Public License (GPL)
for Synch and Mechanical licensing information: email.

(movements can be performed individually)