Listen to the Radio was inspired by one of Woody Guthrie’s exhortations in his “New Years Rulin’s.” The piece is a part through-composed and part Cage-ean chance operation, in service of recreating the atmosphere of a drive through unfamiliar country, flipping through radio stations. The snare drum plays along to a prerecorded electronic track, its music both imitating and accompanying the wisps of music and bursts of static.
The extended piano sample (“tempo di valse”) is from Robin Holcomb’s Wherein Lies the Good.
To purchase the anthology “The Dynamic Snare”, please visit Pocket Publications.
Two snare drums are required for performance (small and large); they should have a pronounced difference in pitch.
Many extended techniques are used in the piece with the object of creating as wide and varied a palette of sounds as possible. Performers should experiment with different mallets and applications, as the ideal solution may be different depending on each instrument and individual.
The electronic track should have good stereo separation and be approximately the same volume as the snares. The performer follows the track by means of a simple 60 BPM click.