Aa, Michel van der : Wake (1997)  8'

for percussion duo

both perc: vib/5chin.tom-t/chimes/whip/dr/metal
Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
De Ijsbreker, Amsterdam
Percussiongroup The Hague

Programme Note

Wake composed in 1997, is commedia dell’arte for a percussionist and a percussionist who mimes. Van der Aa examined to what degree visual and audible parts could interfere in a virtual canon. Both percussionists "play" the same material after each other. Van der Aa always conscious for whom he is composing, wrote Wake for Arnold Marinissen and Ron Colbers. "Ron has theatrical ambitions and has played a lot of Kagel." Wake has a sort of "Pierrot" humour. Colbers played the tragicomic role of a floundering percussionist who really wants to succeed but helplessly flails his arms about in the air. The failed attempt to catch up with his companion and the idle hope of a resounding result gives this humoristic piece a tragic undertone. You see his part on the stage; you hear virtual labour pains in your head.

The instrumentation of the two players is almost identical, their function within the piece however differs a lot. One of the percussionists mimes the entire piece, he only makes the striking movements, the instruments aren’t touched. The other player does touch the instruments. The material in Wake is exposed audible and visually. The connection of the two players becomes clear by combining the inner hearing (translating the pretend movement to a sound) and the acoustic hearing. It’s not important that the player mimes but what he mimes, a remembrance to the material of the other player. Halfway through the piece these remembrances develop into an autonomous form and the mime player starts to influence the other player more and more.

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