Interactions for Baritone Saxophone and Percussion presents two types of musical interaction. The first movement, “Hocket-ish,” involves a modern recasting of the ars antiqua compositional technique of hocket, in which a single melodic line is presented by multiple, rhythmically interlocking voices. In this piece, the approach to hocketing differs in every phrase, and is strict in some cases, and loose in others. The two instrumentalists play a melody that limps its way along through a metrically uneven landscape, trying desperately to find a comfortable groove, but never quite getting there. Throughout, the percussionist is asked to be simultaneously a participant in this hocket (marimba) and an unpitched, drumset-like accompanist to it, requiring a great deal of physical choreography as he or she moves among the various instruments. The more aggressive second movement, “Tandem” finally allows the performers to find the groove they were seeking throughout the first piece.
This work won 1st prize in the Percussive Arts Society’s 2014 composition contest (under the title Two Pieces for Baritone Saxophone and Percussion) and was premiered by Adrianne Honnold (saxophone) and Jeffrey Barudin (percussion) at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in November, 2014.