Instrumentation: solo drum set and orchestra (2222,2asx.-2210, str. bass guitar) or revision: (2222-2200, pf, timp, str.)
Duration: 3 minutes
Year of composition: 2021 (revision 2022)

Programme note

Originally written for the 50th anniversary tour of the Ricciotti Ensemble, cymbals are a central element of Crash! The sound of crashing cymbals has always been a characteristic one for party and celebration, ranging rom the beginning of a cycle in gamelan to the climactic moment of a Mahler symphony to the chorus in a pop song.

Party and celebration make up a very important part of our lives. A great night can give energy for the days after. However, does it mean the more party the better you feel? I don’t think that’s entirely true, and this is something I thought about a lot, mainly when I was in high school. Of course teenagers start experimenting and many people come across a point where they try to achieve happiness through as many parties as possible. Back then I concluded that it’s mainly the events when there is a reason to celebrate actually contribute a lot to you feeling good. For me, nothing beats a nice party after a great concert, for example.

While thinking about this subject, I was listening to a lot of music in high school. Mostly instrumental fusion/funk/pop bands which made use of lots of musical concepts which were interesting for me at the time: spectacular drum fills over the bar line, changing meters, metric modulations, odd swing values to name a few. Listening back to my old Spotify
playlists, I got my musical inspiration for Crash! What these bands did really well is not overusing the musical concepts, so if one occurred at a special moment it was very striking and had a great impact. I think there is a great similarity between this balance and my thoughts about celebration. And there are many more situations in which this similarity is found. The key concept across lots of subjects seems to be balance.

So if I overload a piece with fancy grooves, extended fills and more of these, the music would be way too chaotic and not really enjoyable, right? Maybe. In this piece I tried it, the 6rst part uses a lot of different grooves, changing instrumentation and quick transitions, whereas the last part of the piece is much more straightforward. But I’m not really sure which one I like the most actually, maybe the first part… And this is the great thing about music I think, it can be really special and different to our daily life, in which we often search for balance. But in music we can be extreme, we can fall, we can Crash!, and that can be super exiting!


Commission info

Crash! was commissioned by the Ricciotti Ensemble. The 2022 revision was commissioned by Kamerorkest Somer.