Composer: Heng LIU
Instrument: Snare Drum, Cymbal and Tape
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Space Time is from the idea of the movie Interstellar. There are two movements for this solo and tape piece describing the Dimension and Gravity by one Snare Drum and Cymbal.
1 Snare Drum
1 pair of Naobo, a Chinese paired Cymbal (8"-10" splash or China Cymbal can also be used).
About the composer +
Heng LIU is the principal percussion of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, executive director of China Percussion Association, artist of MEINL Percussion, MEINL Cymbals, Innovative Percussion, Marimba One, and Remo.
Liu studied percussion from childhood with his father Yaguang LIU, professor of percussion at Xi 'an Conservatory of Music. In 2005, Liu was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music. He studied with professor Gang LIU and professor Biao LI successively and obtained bachelor's and master's degrees. By the time he was 18, Liu had won the first prize in the National Youth Percussion Competition. Liu was a percussion jury of the Italian International Percussion Competition, where he also held master classes and special concerts. He also judges the annual International Network Percussion Competition and National Youth Percussion Competition.
Between 2017 to 2019, Liu embarked on his improvisation and interactive percussion concert "Give me one hour" tour. The tour hit many major Chinese cities including Tianqiao Art Center in Beijing, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Xi 'An concert hall, Shijiazhuang Center for the Performing Arts, etc. Liu performed entirely improvised sets based on interaction with the audience, bringing concertgoers a brand new musical experience.
So far, Liu has published two albums: Percussion Visionary --Heng LIU Percussion Concert and DRUMS, an original album released by "Hei Chao" Duo with renowned drummer Yanchao LI. He also writes a personal column Heng LIU Said in music weekly.
As a percussionist, Liu has traveled to various music festivals around the world. These include: Italian International Percussion Competition and Festival, Greek International Percussion Competition and Festival, NCPA International Percussion Festival, Beijing International Electronic Music Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Jazz Shanghai Music Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MIDI Festival and so on.
In the meanwhile, Liu has created more than 30 works, including percussion ensemble piece "The General", "Memory", "Face2Face", percussion and electronic music "Delay", "Percumotion", percussion solo "Rain the Blind Monk", "Wild LEO ", "Poem" and many more. In 2016, his Chinese Traditional Percussion solo piece "Gazing on Mountain TAI" won the 1st prize of China Traditional Music Festival - CCOM ethnic Percussion works collection competition.
In 2019, Heng LIU won "Best Work Awards" and "Best All-round Percussionist" of 2019 Drummmer's Ceremony.
Review (Percussive Notes, June 2022)
Heng Liu is a phenomenal performer and percussionist, who is principal percussionist for the China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, and his ability to write for percussion is equally impressive. “Space Time” is a solo for snare drum, featuring an electronic audio track and the use of a pair of Chinese cymbals, or specifically Naobo. The title and much of the accompaniment is heavily influenced by the 2014 Christopher Nolan science-fiction film Interstellar.
The first movement, “Lost in Dimension,” incorporates a spacious soundscape featuring delicate melodies played on bells with additional words spoken underneath. Meanwhile, the percussionist performs various sounds on the snare drum and cymbal with brushes and mallets. The written notation shifts between free rhythms and more complicated polyrhythms, helping to create a sense of floating through the void of space without a strong sense of pulse or direction.
The second movement, “Escape from Gravity,” is much more rhythmically infused, with the solo snare drum part integrating several more rudimental figures, including flam drags and various other complicated sticking patterns. This movement is similar to the drumming styles in “Pulsar” by Francisco Perez or “Kibo” by Andrea Venet. At times, the solo part can be overly repetitive, but the inclusion of the Chinese cymbal as an additional color helps to increase the variety and provide extra connection points to the soundscape. The accompanying track for this movement features heavier electronic music components, relying on synth leads and percussive sound effects for driving eighth notes that help with a consistent pulse. Toward the end of this movement, the bell melody returns to create a connection between the movements, only to be replaced with the aggressive synth once again through the end of the piece.
Performing both movements would only take around ten minutes, but they could potentially be performed separately if so desired. I highly recommend this piece for a senior, graduate, or professional recital. “Space Time” is exciting, new, and fun for performers and audiences alike with an advanced approach to solo snare drum.
Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Photo: NCPA Orchestra
Engraving: CPH Engraving
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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