Physical copies of Timber have been packaged in special wooden boxes. Cut to near standard CD size in length and width, but made out of medium-density fibreboard an inch thick, each weighs approximately one pound. Download pictures HERE.
Michael Gordon‘s new work, Timber, is scored for six wooden 2x4s, each cut into different sizes, giving each one a slightly different pitch. Called a “simantra” and used by priests in the Greek Orthodox church, this percussion instrument was first used in Western composition by Iannis Xenakis. Far from a gimmick, the instrumentation allows Gordon to create the impression that the sound is traveling around and through the room by subtly shifting the accent of sound from one player to another. The result is a meditation on sound and rhythm, bringing the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level.
Timber had its world premiere on June 16, 2011 at Korzo Theatre in Den Haag, The Netherlands, with the Dutch percussion group Slagwerk Den Haag performing. Since its founding in 1977, Slagwerk Den Haag (The Hague Percussion) have focused on performing and developing contemporary percussion music in its most diverse forms. On October 14, New York City’s Mantra Percussion gave the US premiere of Timber at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Hailed by The New York Times as “finely polished…a fresh source of energy,” Mantra Percussion is committed to substantially expanding the future of percussion by commissioning new, significant works for six or more percussionists by established and emerging composers.