With the timpani tuned high, Tension/Release begins with a groove and increases intensity throughout in both tempo and rhythm until the last few lines where the drums bend down, releasing the tension and settling back into its initial form.
Tension/Release begins in a calm groove, with the timpani tuned towards their upper register. As the piece progresses, tension builds as ﬁgures shift from rhythmic passages into long lines of quick runs while the tempo repeatedly pushes ahead. Ultimately, each drum bends down to its fundamental pitch, and the piece settles back into its initial form, releasing the tension from both the playing surface and the composition.
Tension/Release was commissioned by Jason Baker, and premiered on October 2, 2022 at Mississippi State University.