Commissioned by Dr. Andrew Eldridge, Mantra is an advanced solo for snare drum, small tom, and triggered midi samples or play-along track. It was inspired by a wide range of interests converging together to make one cohesive experience. Inﬂuences range from Tigran Hamasyan to Venetian Snares to Jojo Mayer to Esoteric Mantra Buddhism.
Mantra is an advanced solo for snare drum, small tom, and triggered midi samples or play-along track, commissioned by Dr. Andrew Eldridge.
The piece was inspired by a wide range of interests converging together to make one cohesive experience. Inﬂuences range from Tigran Hamasyan to Venetian Snares to Jojo Mayer to Esoteric Mantra Buddhism.
The form of the piece is intended to simulate a session of meditation. The opening rhythmic motif in groupings of eleven represents the consistent breathing patterns in the ﬁrst stages of meditation. The middle of the piece departs from the rigid pattern-based structure and allows for a ﬂow of dynamically expressive and varied rhythmic ideas to represent the deepest state of meditation. In the conclusion, the open ideas slowly become more structured returning to familiar rhythmic motifs with a new perspective. Like in meditation the goal is to end more enlightened than we began.
It is recommended to use a fairly shallow snare tuned high and dry to help with the clarity of articulation for some of the more dense phrases that could get lost in the wash of the samples. I personally play the “ghost notes” at the far edge of the drum with an intent to be felt and not heard.
The 6-inch tom can be any small tom tuned fairly high. I used a mini timbale during the composing process, but any 6-inch drum is ﬁne. I recommend to set this up to your right almost like a ride cymbal.
When Dr. Eldridge approached me about composing this solo the goal was to write something that could be performed for snare drum with a live midi controller such as an Ableton Launchpad or Midi Fighter. It is recommended that the controller is set up to your left.
At m. 17 you begin your ﬁrst 4-bar loop (Loop 1). This continues until m. 35 where you add the “Bass 2” sample to the existing loop to create Loop 2. All other samples are intended to be played live as “one-shots” and not looped. There is also a play-along option if you do not have access to looping technology.