|"Time's Arrow", mm. 158-163 (upper winds)|
My Percussion Concerto started out with three movements in the first draft. (Before the first draft, there were as many as 11 short, episodic sections.) When I finished the first draft, there were two movements. The current version, being premiered next Friday, 22 February in Greenville, South Carolina, by Omar Carmenates with the Furman University Wind Ensemble, Leslie Hicken, conducting, is in three movements:
I. Fields and Waves
II. Time's Arrow
III. Grids and Motors
I'm often struck, when working on a big piece (especially), how the piece changes during the composition process, and just as often, how the original conception remains in the work's DNA. The Percussion Concerto is about time, or rather about some of the various ways time (and its eternal companion, space) has been viewed from Einstein ("Time exists to keep everything from happening at once.") on: fields, waves, arrows grids, and motors.
When I say a piece is "about" something, the scare quotes are honest. It's hard to say sometimes whether the metaphors or the music come first, or whether they generate each other.