Ear, Nose & Throat

Ear, Nose & Throat

3 Cadential Movements for Clarinet in A and Percussion

(2010) (c.8′)

Commissioned by Devil May Care Duo (Caleb Herron, Percussion; Ariana Lamon-Anderson, Clarinet)
Percussion: Snare Drum, High and Low Toms, Kick Drum, 4 Triangles of different pitch, High and Low Cowbells, Flat and Normal Ride Cymbals

This piece was commissioned by the DMC (Devil May Care) Duo for concert consisting entirely of new works for Clarinet and Percussion.  As the DMC performers would be driving up from Baltimore for the Boston performance, we were given a very specific set of percussion instruments that would be brought along from which we could choose, the slightly unusual group of instruments helped to inspire the initial compositional process.  My final selection of instruments included a set of drums (Kick Drum, two Toms and Snare Drum), four Triangles, two Cowbells and two Ride Cymbals.  These families of instruments, in turn, were paired with a specific register of the clarinet which is used exclusively in each separate movement, with the set of drums acting as structural pillars and used throughout the piece.  The first movement, Ear, uses the written register from a written B in the staff and up to piercing effect, paired with the Triangles.  The second movement, Nose, explores the lowest octave of notes of the Clarinet known as the Chalumeau register in wide, slow tremolos alongside softly struck cowbells.  The final and longest movement, Throat, naturally uses only the so called Throat tones on the clarinet between the two extremes of register in the first two movements.  This narrow range (consisting of only 6 different notes) is set off in a sort of moto perpetuo set against a series of conflicting, constantly rhythmically morphing hits on the ride cymbals.

  1. Ear: quarter=60-72
  2. Nose: quarter=30 to 90 to 60, 40 to 80 to 60, (60) to 180 to 120, (120) to 180 to 60, (60) to 80 to 40, 60 to 90 to 30
  3. Throat: quarter=80-96

SICPP 2012 (Rane Moore, Clarinet; Sean Dowgray, Percussion)