KILN [in progress]

concert-installation for solo percussion, percussion trio, and six low pitched instruments [80’]

commissioned by the ELISION Ensemble & Line Upon Line. Constituent pieces have been commissioned by MusikFabrik, Ensemble et cetera, and ON - Neue Musik Köln e.V.

includes the following stand-alone pieces:

  • porcelain body [solo percussion]

  • glost fire [percussion trio] forthcoming

  • KILN I [contrabass clarinet, euphonium, percussion]

  • KILN II [bass clarinet, double bass, percussion]

  • KILN III [cello, tuba, percussion] forthcoming

project information

KILN is an evening-length concert-installation for percussion soloist and 3 trios creating 4 interlocking ensembles. The piece runs approximately 80-minutes without interruption, and is comprised of five works: porcelain body, glost fire, and KILN I, II & III.

The four ensembles overlap and connect via three percussionists, each of whom play three different types of bass drums. These trios refract, amplify, and resist the activity of a solo percussionist, who both guides and derails the full ensemble through the piece. KILN focuses on low instruments to create an immersive, hushed but turbulent sonic world. The sounds and instruments are treated as materials within a kiln: solids becoming molten, amorphous substances ossifying into defined form, objects melting and fusing together within the extreme conditions of their containment.

The performers are organized throughout the space according to the illustration to the right, all facing towards the middle of the space. The audience is seated in the pockets created by the ensemble’s spatial dispersal.

KILN is in three parts without break, the constituent pieces overlapping with each other and the ensemble perimeter growing ever-larger as more instruments are introduced. The solo percussionist begins the piece alone, performing porcelain body, before eventually being joined by the percussion trio in glost fire. This transitions seamlessly into the third part, in which KILN I-III are performed simultaneously, incorporating the low winds, brass, and strings.

KILN is based on the work of ceramic artist Nishida Jun, particularly his piece Zetsu #8.