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Dominic Donato | Music for Tamtams II - Precious Metals

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Music for Tamtams II - Precious Metals

by Dominic Donato

Experimental percussion music for tamtams with special contributions by Barbara White and Arthur Kreiger. An eclectic mix of avant-garde, ambient, and contemporary improvisation.
Genre: Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ring
8:30 $1.00
2. Mountains and Rivers
2:02 $1.00
3. Plan B
18:11 album only
4. Tiger Noodles Motivates Princeton Junior Faculty
3:12 $1.00
5. Precious Metals
11:37 album only
6. In Search of the Celestial Teapot
3:15 $1.00
7. One4
7:00 $1.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The second CD in the Music for Tamtams Series.

RING (2000/2017) by Dominic Donato
RING is a metal on metal solo improvisation. I essentially rewrite the piece for every series of performances. For this recording, I used a set of 8 different metal beaters from very thin knitting needles and various triangle beaters to finally a thick metal rod. The title RING implies both the sound of the instrument and the path of performance.

Plan B (2016) by Dominic Donato
Plan B is the most recent piece in my series of compositions for tamtams. There is no sense of pulse in Plan B, but there is a continual shifting of colors throughout the ensemble as the performers play on tamtams using a number of different mallets (wood sticks, various rubber, cord, and yarn mallets, tamtam beaters, bass bows, and plastic cups) to produce a wide dynamic range of sounds. The only other instrument used in this piece is a barei or horse bell (ba=horse, rei=bell) from the Odawara region of Japan. As far back as the 16th century, the bell was made throughout the region but now is crafted in only one small shop, Kashiwagi Art Foundry, in the city of Odawara. The barei is a small round donut-shaped bell that makes a beautifully complex ringing sound when shaken.
Plan B is a reworking of an older piece, Seven, (for seven players playing seven tamtams) with the addition of the barei, hence the name. Plan B was written for the Purchase College Percussion Ensemble.

Mountains and Rivers (2009)
Tiger Noodles Motivates Princeton Junior Faculty (2009–2010)
In Search of the Celestial Teapot (2009)
From Nothing Doing (2009–2010) for tamtam and recorded sound by Barbara White
In 2003, Dominic Donato premiered a minute-long solo tamtam piece of mine and then invited me to write him another tamtam solo. I ended up writing a couple dozen pieces, ranging from ceremonies to curios to conceptual works that can’t quite be performed. After much experimentation, I became increasingly interested in more traditional uses of the conventional, even clichéd, gong stroke that is familiar to many of us. I loved the way the long decay resounded, the way that different mallets teased out different timbres, and as before, the way the player, like his audience, became a listener to the tamtam’s protracted decrescendo. I also became more and more intrigued by the alchemy of combining a simple stroke with recorded text. Nothing Doing aims to embrace and simultaneously question the traditional associations of the clichéd stroke, and I continue to be entranced by the many ways a single, familiar sound may signify.
I am grateful to Dominic Donato for commissioning these pieces and for giving them so much care and attention. Thanks are also due to the three readers who contributed their voices to the recorded parts and to The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation Ltd. for permission to use text from “Is There a God?”.

Precious Metals (2012) by Arthur Kreiger
An overwhelming attraction to the sound of vibrating metals eventually led to the creation the musical composition, Precious Metals, (2012) by Arthur Kreiger. Written especially for percussionist Dominic Donato, the ensemble contains both familiar instruments (gongs, cymbals, tam-tams) as well as less familiar ones (a deep, inverted metal wash tub). The electronic soundtrack was realized at the Cummings Electronic and Digital Sound Studio of Connecticut College in New London, CT. Interesting musical noise is the sonic focus of Precious Metals. Timbre, rhythm, and dynamics are at the core of this work. Traditionally pitched elements (melody, harmony, etc.) assume a secondary importance. Dominic Donato presented the premiere performance in November of 2013 at the Conservatory of Music, SUNY Purchase, NY.

One4 (1990) by John Cage
In One4, as in much of the music of John Cage, the performer takes on the role of collaborator with the composer. Cage composed fourteen “time brackets” of music and instructs the performer to play one sound per bracket, either very long or very short, with dynamics free. Cage suggests that the instruments to be used (ten in all) are cymbals and/or drums chosen by the performer. Despite that fact I couldn’t help but envision this piece performed on tamtams and I developed two versions of this piece for tamtams alone. The version on “Music for Tamtams: Metalmorphosis” is for one tamtam played with ten different beaters. This version is for ten bowed tamtams.



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