On November 14 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the percussionists of the San Francisco Contemporary Players perform Michael Gordon’s acclaimed, hypnotic, epic concert-length work Timber for 6 percussionists.
Scored for six graduated, amplified, wooden simantras (2x4s) the work brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level. In this work, Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures — often each players’ hands are in separate rhythmic ‘worlds’, each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud, similar in some respects to his solo for percussion, XY.
Much of Gordon’s music demonstrates a deep exploration into the extreme possibilities and stunning nature of rhythm, as well as the enriching, yet disturbing, multidimensionality of polyrhythmic layers — what has been termed in his music to be, “glorious confusion.”
Many of his works including Trance, Gotham, Decasia, and Dystopia point to Gordon’s interest in complex rhythmic and textural territory. Timber takes these elements and explores the extreme possibilities of rhythm and texture to a beautifully intense degree.
Timber was co-commissioned by the Dutch dance company, Club Guy and Roni and the percussion ensembles Slagwerk den Haag and Mantra Percussion.