No 53 TWOMB for John Cage (2012)

For percussion sextet

Commissioned by: Percussion The Hague, with financial support from the Netherlands Fund for the Performing Arts
First Performance: Percussion The Hague, Double Music November 29 2012, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam
Instrumentation: 6 Percussionists
Duration: ca. 13’
Special Features: co-written with Maarten Altena. Performance requires click track.

Score samples + setup

Listen/Buy: Slagwerk Den Haag's website

Info/Program note:
Written together with composer Maarten Altena, TWOMB for John Cage takes a special place among my works. Not merely due to the obvious difficulties of writing a piece of music together with another composer, but also because that person happened to be a close friend. In writing TWOMB (pronounced as a combination of the words ‘Two’ and ‘Tomb’) we set out to write a work in which ‘authorship’ could be as undetectable as possible. To this purpose we devised several formal rules, loosely based on the square root form of John Cage and all the possible combinations of five lines/players and then proceeded by allocating various speeds to each other. In all, the work consists of five pieces of material, which were divided equally: 2 and a half for each, formal inner subdivisions for one composer, ongoing continuous lines for the other. The entire work is technically linked up through the mutual use of palindromic number structures.


Interview with Maarten Altena (video: Arnoud Noordegraaf)