Running Towards Empty
Composer: Bjorn Berkhout
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
Duration: 9 min.
Running Towards Empty is organized using a palindromic form with each of the sections marked by a distinct rhythmic ‘fingerprint’. Its basic form is as follows: A B C B A Coda. The first A section’s fingerprint is a steady pulsation idea that accompanies the works main melodic material. The B section’s main fingerprint, a rhythmic grouping of 3+3+2, is found in the vibraphone part while a sextuplet ostinato rhythm flows underneath in the other parts. The B section itself is organized into its own abc Structure, with each sub-section having a different rhythmic fingerprint.
The C section is organized as a modified palindromic structure abac/acbc (a palindrome where c substitutes for a after the halfway point in the structure). Some key rhythmic fingerprints for this section include a 4 against 3 pattern, and a canonical treatment of the works melodic material. The B section follows, but the music and its various sections are now infused with a new motivic idea: a descending line, which begins to dominate the sections until the return of the A section and the original tune with the steady pulsations. A virtuosic coda concludes the work.
Running Towards Empty was written for Matthew Coley and the Iowa State University Percussion Ensemble.
Percussion Ensemble (6 players):
(Kick Drum, 3 Toms, Snare Drum, 3 Cymbals & 2 Cans)
About the composer +
Dr. Berkhout received his Doctorate in Composition at Northwestern University in 2003 where he was awarded the Faricy Award for Creative Music. He has received numerous national and international awards with performances across the United States and Europe. His composition REM, a Lucid Dream Fantasy won the 2004 Omaha Symphony Guild’s International Composition Contest and he was a prize winner in the 2006 Gustav Mahler Composition Contest with his work Eclipse. His work Zapstar was selected from over 230 submissions for the ALEA III 2003 International Composers Contest and his composition Visual Sound was nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize 2000. Twice he has been selected as a semi-finalist for the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize.
Front Cover layout: Sune Kliborg Lynge (Kliborg Design)
Engraving: Bjorn Berkhout
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark