Contents Under Pressure

for reed quintet
Duration: 6 minutes
Subito Music Distribution

CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE (2019) was inspired by the idea of trapping one’s breath in the column of a reed instrument in order to build up enough pressure to produce a musical tone.  It was written during a time of high stress, multiple deadlines, and a move.  Correspondingly, the piece is about things that explode.  An 18 second clip of fireworks on the 4th of July yields the rhythms in the first movement.  Over five repetitions, the noise of the explosions morphs into pitch structures taken from the fireworks’ spectra.  A similar recording of popcorn cooking in a microwave was used to derive the rhythms and pitches in the second movement. It opens with the suspensful, prolonged drone of the oven- when will it pop?  CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE was written in 2019 for Splinter Reeds.


Premiere: April 13, 2019
Splinter Reeds Quintet
Gusman Concert Hall
University of Miami Frost School of Music
Miami, FL